MINSK, 20 December (BelTA) – Now is the time for strategic decisions on Belarus-Russia cooperation, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko told reporters commenting on the talks between the presidents of Belarus and Russia held a day before, BelTA has learned.
“Most of the talk was not about tactical tasks, which are also important. The governments of the two countries were preparing a substantiation for strategic decisions. Tactical tasks are not going anywhere, but now we should lay the foundation for our new economy, our new cooperation. The presidents set the task to ensure the technological sovereignty and economic security of our countries and we should address this task using our industrial capacities. Therefore, yesterday we talked about import substitution projects that will be implemented in Belarus with the financial and credit support of the Russian Federation,” said Roman Golovchenko.
He noted that this year the parties should finalize the contract documents for the supply of natural gas to Belarus. “There are no questions in principle about oil. The volumes and prices have been determined. They suit us,” the prime minister added.
According to him, there are some pending issues, particularly in the field of transport. “We are interested in increasing the volume of transportation to the Russian market, in abolishing the licensing system for cargo carriers, though now we have a sufficient number of road transportation permits. This is a serious piece of work for Belarusian carriers, who had to reduce the number of shipments to the European Union because of the sanctions,” said the head of government.
Roman Golovchenko addded that the issue of cabotage transportation was also raised by the Belarusian side. The president of Russia gave an instruction to deal with this matter.
“An agreement has already been reached in the field of air transportation. In line with this agreement, Belarusian airlines can operate flights according to the so-called triangle principle. For example, they can fly from Minsk to Moscow, then from Moscow to Kazan, then again to Minsk. We are also working on equalization of tariffs for air navigation services,” the prime minister noted.
Together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the specifics of import substitution projects have been worked out. “Now we have 14 import substitution projects, the work on them has already begun. We are purchasing equipment, in particular, at Gomselmash, to scale up the production of combine harvesters, and at Minsk Gear Plant to produce gears, shafts of high accuracy classes that are used in modern machinery, logging equipment,” the head of government noted.
The two countries cooperate in the field of microelectronics within the framework of an already signed agreement. Integral and Planar companies are poised for a serious technological upgrade so that they will be able to increase the production of microchips and other electronic components for the Russian and Belarusian markets, as well as to launch new products and products with new accuracy classes,” Roman Golovchenko said.