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03 August 2021, 13:53
Yevgeny Lukyanov

Belarus and Russia chose their way long ago and should follow it

Yevgeny Lukyanov
Yevgeny Lukyanov
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus

Belarus and Russia chose their own way a long time ago and it is necessary to continue following it. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus Yevgeny Lukyanov made the statement as he met with top Mogilev Oblast officials at premises of the Mogilev Oblast Executive Committee on 2 August, BelTA has learned.

The ambassador said: “We see that our countries have prospects for development. Near-border cooperation of our regions is one of the prospects. It is important to understand that if there are no mutual interests, no program developed by top authorities will work. But we have such interests. The sanctions our countries face represent one of the instruments that promote cooperation. For the last few years we've been very proud of our agriculture and its accomplishments. All of it is thanks to the sanctions. The West very clearly outlined the direction for us. And Belarus and Russia chose their own way a long time ago and it is necessary to continue following it.”

During the meeting Mogilev Oblast Governor Leonid Zayats noted that the Russian Federation is an important trader partner and the main trade partner for the region. Russia's share in Mogilev Oblast's trade was close to 55% in January-May. Its share in Mogilev Oblast's export was close to 54%.

In January-May 2021 trade between Mogilev Oblast and Russia was close to $854 million, 20% up from the same period of last year. Export exceeded $519 million, with import close to $335 million. According to Leonid Zayats, Mogilev Oblast's exports to Russia include tires, various machines, vehicles, and equipment, furniture and furniture parts, railway cars and wagons, products for packaging and transporting plastic goods, dairy products, and meat products. Russia's exports to Mogilev Oblast were propylene polymers, acyclic alcohol, train engine parts, mineral fertilizers, and other goods. Trade in services between Mogilev Oblast and the Russian Federation was close to $28 million in January-May, over 41% up from the same period of last year.

Apart from that, Mogilev Oblast construction companies take an active part in the construction of socially important facilities in Russia. For instance, Construction Trust No.12 is busy building a secondary school in the town of Strelitsa, Semiluki District, Voronezh Oblast. The school is supposed to be ready in late August 2021.

As many as 324 organizations with Russian capital operate in Mogilev Oblast. The manufacturer of commercial carbon Omsk Karbon Mogilev is one of the largest ones. The company intends to reach its designed output capacity by 2023. It has created over 500 jobs. Apart from that, primary raw materials for the Belarusian tire manufacturer Belshina will be made here as well. It is an example of successful and mutually beneficial cooperation, the Mogilev Oblast governor noted.

In addition to positive things the sides discussed a number of problems during the meeting. Sales of Mogilevliftmash products in Russia were one such problem. The governor said: “Our leading enterprise cannot participate in tenders in Russia now. The company used to sell thousands of lifts to Russia in the past. These days only a handful is sold infrequently. Apart from that, [the Russian food quality watchdog] Rosselkhoznadzor has prohibited sales of cheese made by the Slavgorod-based branch of OAO Babushkina Krynka. We need assistance with resolving this situation, too.”

In response the Russian ambassador noted that there are indeed issues with sales of Mogilevliftmash lifts. “Due to legislation peculiarities. We should work on the problem together and find a solution for it. No company should be infringed upon in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Our commercial entities should not compete. Every one of them should be able to sell their products,” he stressed. “As for Babushkina Krynka, it is necessary to take a closer look at the problem. Because Russians appreciate quality Belarusian dairy products. They do not need additional advertising.”

Mogilev Oblast Governor Leonid Zayats also stressed it is necessary to step up cooperation between regions of Mogilev Oblast and the Russian Federation. “We have enabled all the conditions for the development of Russian business in the oblast. For instance, we could step up interaction with southeastern parts of our oblast. There are sufficient opportunities for development over there, including certain preferences guaranteed by presidential decree No.235. The business forum Mill of Success, which will take place in Krichev in autumn, can become the starting point in this work,” he noted.

The Russian ambassador's working trip to Mogilev Oblast will last for three days. He is expected to visit top enterprises in Mogilev, get familiar with their operation and the products they make. Apart from that, the ambassador will see places of interest in Mogilev and the town of Belynichi.

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