MINSK, 3 April (BelTA) - Belarus is a reliable and trusted friend for Russia's Kaluga Oblast, Governor of Kaluga Oblast Vladislav Shapsha said as he met with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 3 April, BelTA has learned.
“Belarus is a reliable and trusted friend for Kaluga Oblast. For a long time our cooperation has been built on the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit. The history of bilateral relations is rich in successful projects in industry, agriculture, science, education and culture,” the head of the Russian region said.
In his words, since yesterday Kaluga Oblast and the Republic of Belarus have become even closer. “We have arrived here by the first regular flight from the international airport of Kaluga to Minsk after a long break. We are sure that both Kaluga residents and residents of the Russian Federation - our neighboring regions – as well as Belarusians will take advantage of this opportunity. We ask you to support our initiative, if there is such an opportunity, to launch a return flight of the Belarusian airline to Kaluga. It is now in great demand among our residents,” Vladislav Shapsha said.
The governor extended greetings to the head of state as the two countries marked the Day of Unity of the Peoples of Belarus and Russia on 2 April. He also praised the famous Belarusian hospitality. “Our delegation includes numerous representatives of business, heads of regional ministries. We hope for on a very eventful business program,” he said.
The visit of the delegation from Kaluga Oblast envisages not only business talks but also events to boost interaction in culture and sport. Kaluga's drama theater company has come to Minsk to offer their play in the Belarusian capital.
“Our junior hockey team have also come with us, and tomorrow Kaluga players will face the players of Belarus. We support children's sport very actively. We have brought skis and hockey sticks of Kaluga production for your skiers and hockey players. We will be glad if you like them. We use them on a regular basis,” Vladislav Shapsha said.
Talking to the media after the meeting with the Belarusian head of state, he said that they discussed the topic of import substitution and the ways to expand cooperation in manufacturing. “We have great examples today. These are companies that with the help of Belarusian partners have managed to substitute a significant part of components in their production, including equipment in healthcare and utilities services,” the governor said.
The Kaluga Oblast governor's visits to such enterprises as MAZ or Amkodor are not going to be just introductory trips, but very specific ones to discuss further expansion of cooperation.
The parties are set to develop cooperation both in industry and agriculture. “We have agreed to expand our opportunities in the construction of dairy enterprises, farms. I think that in the near future we will see the results of our today's meeting. In Kaluga Oblast, I hope, there will also be such an enterprise with a breeding herd from Belarus,” Vladislav Shapsha said.
There are very serious partnership relations in the construction sector. Belarusian builders have been constructing entire neighborhoods and social facilities such as schools and kindergartens in the region. Plans are in place to open Russia's first technopark of working professions in Kaluga Oblast on 1 September. The center will be used to train and retrain not only specialists in working professions but also trainers from all over the country in modern and in-demand professions. Specialists from Belarus are helping to build the facility.
Kaluga is ready to offer its logistical capabilities to Belarus. “We have built a major logistics hub. Today, cargoes from Kaluga Oblast are delivered to Chinese ports within two weeks. We have ties with Iran and India. We have suggested that the opportunities we have today be used for the needs of Belarusian manufacturers,” the governor said.