MINSK, 29 December (BelTA) - Trade between Belarus and Russia's Pskov Oblast surged by more than 40% in January-October 2021, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said at a video conference of the working group on cooperation between Belarus and Russia's Pskov Oblast, BelTA has learned.
"We have met the targets we have set for 2021. In January-October, the trade between Belarus and Russia's Pskov Oblast amounted to more than $122 million, which was up by 40.8% year-on-year. Export totaled $74.8 million, up by 41%," Igor Petrishenko said.
The parties are set to consider a wide range of issues related to the supply of Belarusian vehicles: tractors, road-building vehicles, buses running gas engine fuel, etc. "We are working out various approaches, forms of interaction in order to increase the volume of supplies of our equipment," he said.
The deputy prime minister said that Belarus will participate in projects to build social infrastructure facilities in Pskov Oblast. "We are entering the general contract for the construction of a school for 825 students in the city of Gdov. It's a very good project. We will implement it together with our Pskov colleagues. We have a wealth of experience in this field," Igor Petrishenko added.
In addition, Belarus and Pskov Oblast are actively cooperating in agriculture. "In particular, we share experience in terms of growing different crops, cooperate in food supply. We have also involved our science: the National Academy of Sciences, national research centers in various areas," the deputy prime minister said.
The parties will also give considerable much to humanitarian aspects. The focus will be on direct contacts between youth organizations, cooperation in education, culture, science, sports, tourism, and so on. “We will analyze the cooperation with our bordering Vitebsk Oblast. It is actively involved in cooperation with Russia on a wide range of issues,” he said.
The agenda also includes issues of transport communication, especially air services. “I think next year Pskov will launch a direct flight to Minsk. We will take a look at the logistics. Perhaps direct flights will be opened to other regional centers, too,” Igor Petrishenko added.
“I am confident that the reached agreements will give a new impetus to our partnership ties and contribute to further development of fruitful cooperation between Belarus and Pskov Oblast,” the deputy prime minister said.
According to Pskov Oblast Governor Mikhail Vedernikov, Belarus is one of the key foreign trade partners for the Russian region. This is facilitated both by its geographical location and close historical ties of the border territories. “A significant share of regional exports is high-tech products, including engines for BELAZ, electrical equipment for MTZ, nitrogen plants for Belokrio, high-voltage equipment and gas equipment. Belarus supplies dairy products, equipment and mechanical devices to Pskov Oblast. It is extremely important for us. We are ready to do everything necessary for further development of the commodity trade between the region and the country,” he said.
According to the governor, despite all the difficulties of the epidemic situation and the restrictions associated with it, the Russian region continues to cooperate closely with Belarusian contractors in the construction sector. The parties also actively cooperate in upgrading the housing and utilities sector in Pskov Oblast.
“The potential for cooperation is still hugely untapped. Together we should do everything to implement it for the benefit of people living on both sides of the border,” Mikhail Vedernikov stressed.