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07 December 2021, 11:59

Russia's Bashkortostan, Belarus urged to build on momentum for closer cooperation

Radiy Khabirov
Radiy Khabirov

MINSK, 7 December (BelTA) - If Belarus and Russia fail to build on the momentum for closer cooperation, they will fall behind other competitors, the head of Russia's Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov told the media after a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 7 December, BelTA has learned.

The head of Bashkortostan said that it was with great concern yet with hope that Bashkortostan watched the events in Belarus. According to him, Bashkortostan was worried about Belarus and is glad that the country and its people sorted things out.

“You went through a very difficult time. We were ready to support you any time. All this time we have continued our cooperation. We love Belarus and your people very much. If we fail to build on the momentum for closer cooperation, we will fall behind other competitors. That is why it is very important that we are paying a visit right now,” said Radiy Khabirov.

Radiy Khabirov added that he visited Belarus some five years ago. Then he paid a visit together with his family. “We spent great time here then. Minsk is a beautiful city, with kind people and delicious cuisine,” he said.

During the meeting the Belarusian head of state mentioned possibilities to restore the pre-crisis trade with Bashkortostan faster. Mutual trade reached as much as $700 million before. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that in the future the parties will be able to increase bilateral trade to $1 billion.

In January-September 2021, mutual trade made up $280 million, down 16% compared to the same period in 2020. “The visit of such a representative delegation at the current difficult time is of great importance to us. Our main task is obvious and quite achievable - to restore the pre-crisis trade as soon as possible,” the president stressed.

Belarus' main exports to Bashkortostan include refrigerators, freezers and refrigeration equipment, plates, sheets and films of plastic, specific goods, cheese and cottage cheese. In January-September 2021 supplies of wood-fiber boards increase almost 14 times (in comparison with the same period last year), panels, tables and panels for electrical equipment soared 10 times.

Bashkortostan has assembly factories for MTZ tractors, Gomselmash and Lidselmash harvesters, Bobruiskagromash machinery and MAZ trolleybuses. There are 14 enterprises with Belarusian capital in Bashkortostan.

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