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09 September 2022, 11:30

Belarusian cargo transshipment via Astrakhan ports on the rise

Photo courtesy of Belarus' Transport and Communications Ministry
Photo courtesy of Belarus' Transport and Communications Ministry

MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) - The volume of transshipment of Belarusian cargo through the ports of Russia's Astrakhan is on the rise, Belarusian First Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Lyakhovich said at a meeting of the working group on cooperation between Belarus and Astrakhan Oblast, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry.

The Russian region is one of the strategic partners for Belarus. Partnership relations are successfully developing in a wide range of areas, including trade, industry, agriculture, transport, construction, science, education, and many others. The high pace of cooperation between Belarus and Astrakhan Oblast is evidenced by positive dynamics in bilateral trade. “In H1 2022 it soared almost 150% against the level of 2021 to exceed $33 million. I think the pace will keep accelerating and we will reach higher figures by the end of the year,” said Aleksei Lyakhovich.

An important issue for Belarus is the use of Russian ports infrastructure for the export of Belarusian goods. “A lot of work has been done in this direction. The volume of Belarusian cargo transshipped through Astrakhan sea ports has considerably increased - over 70,000 tonnes in recent months. By the end of the year we plan to reach 210,000 tonnes,” the first deputy minister said.

According to him, Belarus is interested in increasing cargo traffic through Russian transport corridors, particularly through the International North-South Transport Corridor. Currently, to expand the geography of transportation and reorientation of Belarusian exports, an intergovernmental agreement has been worked out jointly with the Ministry of Transport of Russia to boost cooperation in the transportation of certain types of cargo within the two countries.

In December 2021, an action plan for 2022-2024 was signed in Minsk to implement the agreement on cooperation between the governments of Belarus and Astrakhan Oblast. The participants of the joint meeting discussed in detail the priority areas of multilateral cooperation and outlined plans for new joint projects.

Vice Governor Oleg Knyazev emphasized the importance of partner and friendly relations with Belarus. In his words, today the region has cooperation agreements not only with the Belarusian government but also with Brest Oblast and Vitebsk Oblast in various areas.

“Belarusian products, especially food and light industry goods, are popular with Astrakhan residents. There is a high demand for Belarusian-made agricultural equipment, the main share of which is MTZ tractors. This year we are going to open a MTZ sales and service center,” Oleg Knyazev said. According to him, each joint meeting helps the partners find new points of contact and new opportunities for the development of economic potential.

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