MINSK, 24 September (BelTA) – Ukraine has suggested that the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine, which was due to take place in Grodno in October, should be postponed to 2021, Belarus' Ambassador to Ukraine Igor Sokol said in an interview to the Ukraine Business Review newspaper, BelTA has learned.
“The Ukrainian side has recently suggested that we postpone the forum to 2021. In fact, this means giving up on all the joint preparatory work done before. The economies of our countries, interregional links and also ties between ordinary people will be affected in the first place. It is easy to destroy and it is much harder to create. Since the Ukrainian authorities has put bilateral relations on pause, we are ready to continue communicating with the regions, cities, rural councils, and business,” the diplomat said.
According to Ambassador Igor Sokol, the forum was planned as a central event at the bilateral level. The event is of purely economic nature. The countries carried out huge preparatory work, have set up organizing committees for the forum. The program featured 17 parallel locations, including an exhibition of large-size equipment and industrial specimens, a trading show of products of Ukrainian and Belarusian enterprises and also arts and crafts, a meeting of the advisory council of business cooperation, a science and technology forum, a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on cooperation in science and technology, roundtable sessions “Belarus-Ukraine: History and Present Day”, “Improving energy efficiency in apartment buildings, the conference “Belarus and Ukraine: prospects for sustainable sci-tech cooperation”, an event to share best practices of free economic zones, industrial parks, technoparks, meetings of working groups in industry, agriculture, transport, technical regulation, standardization and metrology, and environmental protection.
“In July, we sent invitations on behalf of the Belarusian government to all heads of Ukrainian regions. half of the Ukrainian regions confirmed participation in August. An official visit of Volodymyr Zelensky to Belarus was in the works. As the deputy head of the Belarusian organizing committee, I visited Grodno, a beautiful Belarusian city of craftsmen and talented people, in July. The city was looking forward to the forum,” said the diplomat.