MINSK, 7 December (BelTA) - Cooperation between Russia's Bashkortostan and Belarus has a great potential, the head of Russia's Bashkortostan Radiy Khabirov said during a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 7 December, BelTA has learned.
Radiy Khabirov noted that Belarus and Bashkortostan have been developing cooperation for more than two decades. It is based on the agreement on trade and economic cooperation of 1999.
"We know that there is still a very large untapped potential for our common development and cooperation. We are not afraid of any COVID or sanctions. We want to work with you, with an aim of improving the well-being of residents of both Belarus and Bashkortostan and brining benefits to both peoples," Radiy Khabirov emphasized.
"We have been welcomed here as family, very close, good friends. I am not afraid to say that the people of Bashkortostan and the people of Belarus are actually fraternal peoples. We share a very long history, ancestors. Together we fought against enemies and we have a lot in common," he added.
The delegation of Bashkortostan plans to spend three days in Belarus. It is set to visit Belarusian enterprises, to hold meetings and negotiations with Belarusian colleagues, heads of factories and ministries. According to the head of the Republic of Bashkortostan, the parties enjoy long established contacts at various levels. “We have come here to work,” said Radiy Khabirov.
During the meeting the Belarusian head of state mentioned possibilities to restore the pre-crisis trade with Bashkortostan soon. 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.