MINSK, 8 September (BelTA) - Murmansk Oblast has plans to develop cooperation with Belarus despite the potential return of partners from the European Union, Governor of Russia's Murmansk Oblast Andrei Chibis said as he met with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 8 September, BelTA has learned.
“Today we, together with all the companies that work with us (it is a joint decision), are going to focus on our Belarusian partners, friends and colleagues. Although many Europeans are already going to or ready to come back. Nevertheless, we will be working with our partners,” the governor said.
According to him, this pertains, in particular, the supplies of BelAZ machinery. “Not a single company of ours have stopped the investment program. Moreover, we have recently signed investments for RUB100 billion with EuroChem. A significant part of that money is to renew the rolling stock. These are exactly the BelAZ vehicles that will be purchased additionally,” said Andrei Chibis.
The Belarusian head of state said at the meeting that a certain progress had already been achieved in terms of BelAZ supplies. More than 30 vehicles will have been supplied before the end of the year, and 15 vehicles more will be shipped in 2023. “This is only the beginning. I think there will be more,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“We have left the European companies. Although they are asking us to come back. The decision has been made that we will actively use BelAZ vehicles,” the governor told the media after the meeting.
The parties are also working on cooperation in the supplies of mining equipment. Currently, the parties are working on modifications, but a principal decision to use Belarusian equipment in Murmansk Oblast has already been made.
“This is also a very large level of cooperation, including a story about a service center, education, enthusiasm for young people who will use and operate this equipment,” Andrei Chibis said at the meeting.
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that Belarus is ready to train as many specialists as necessary to operate BelAZ and other vehicles.
“Now we are opening a joint training class with BelAZ. People will be trained to work with this equipment. It is really competitive. Manufacturers did not stand idle, they competed and developed. Today this is competitive equipment necessary for our industry,” the governor said.
There is great interest and potential for cooperation in a number of other areas, including further supply of passenger and municipal vehicles. Especially since Belarus has developed modifications especially for the harsh conditions of the north. “Joint work on the renewal of public transport has become a separate area for discussion. Belarus-made MAZs and trolleybuses have proven their worth. We are implementing a large program to upgrade public transport and, of course, we will be guided by our Belarusian partners,” said Andrei Chibis.
Despite the northern climate, interest was also shown in developing cooperation in agriculture, including not only food supplies but also assistance in organizing production, first of all in cattle breeding.
“There are also mutual opportunities in construction. Belarusian contractors are already concluding partnership agreements to participate in the construction of a new metallurgical plant, which will be built for the first time since the Soviet era. Today we have spoken about the possibility to use Belarusian companies for the development of housing construction, which is a topical issue for Murmansk Oblast. We have discussed the whole range of additional possibilities, including humanitarian exchange, interaction of our youth movements, exchange of students,” the governor added.