ST PETERSBURG, 16 June (BelTA) – After the closure of the Ukrainian market and the markets of unfriendly countries, Belarus had to redirect export flows worth about $16 billion a year, Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov said at the panel session “The Union State: Economic Integration - New Challenges” at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, BelTA has learned.
According to Nikolai Snopkov, the analysis of opportunities showed that Belarus can redirect export of about $4.4 billion to the Russian market. "As far as I understand, there are the niches in the Russian market that we can fill. The import accounted for 40-60% across a number of positions in Russia. It is important that Belarusian goods should be treated in the Russian market as local ones. This is how they can stay competitive and in demand in view of the measures taken by the Russian government to support domestic producers. These are operational issues," Nikolai Snopkov said.
He urged to quickly resolve strategic issues: "I mean not just bridging the gaps in commodity balances. I mean joint economic development (in industry, agriculture) in such a way that Belarus sees its economic prospects next to and together with Russia, and does not seek happiness beyond the seven seas."
The first deputy prime minister suggested supplementing "integration in the minds" with real economic integration. "So that the economic imperatives in the relations between our sister nations never again come into conflict with the political and humanitarian ones," he stressed.