MINSK, 21 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia are effectively weathering the illegal Western sanctions, Doctor of Economics Valery Bainev told BelTA. According to him, close and multifaceted interaction has made it possible to expand cooperation between the countries.
“We must admit that despite all the expectations of Western politicians Belarus and Russia, within the framework of the Union State, effectively oppose the illegal policy of sanctions by Western countries and the hybrid war unleashed by them. They expected the restrictive measures to cause a shortage of goods and services and to stir up discontent. However, within the framework of the import substitution policy, manufacturers of Belarus and Russia are successfully taking vacant niches,” Valery Bainev said.
The economist noted that the attempts to strangle the two countries economically should by challenged by joint strategies in production digitalization, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, microelectronics, space and other areas. All this will help get away from dependence on components from unfriendly countries. “The business communities of Belarus and Russia see Western sanctions and the withdrawal of foreign companies from the two countries as a window of opportunity and quickly fill in vacated niches and launch competitive production. A high level of integration was achieved due to intensive meetings held by Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin in 2021 and due to the approval of the 28 Union State programs. This means that issues associated with the sanctions are handled at a high level. Today these programs have already been implemented by 80%,” he added.
The expert recalled that Western business found itself on the receiving end of the sanctions. He cited the following statistics to illustrate his point. “Since the end of February last year, foreign companies that left Russia or limited their operations have lost from $200 billion to $240 billion. Of these, from $70 billion to $90 billion was lost by those who left the country. The USA incurred the biggest losses - $102 billion. It is followed by the UK ($78 billion) and Germany ($51 billion), Valery Bainev said.
The scientist noted that Belarus-Russia projects will allow the Union State to replace all critical imports from Western countries in the near future. “Last year, Russia allocated a RUB105 billion loan to Belarus to implement 12 import substitution programs. The work on these projects is already underway. They will create new jobs, increase tax revenues and boost the economies of our countries,” Valery Bainev concluded.