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Call to promote Belarus-Ukraine interregional сontacts

Politics 15.10.2018 | 14:02
Viktor Yushchenko. Delfi photo
Viktor Yushchenko. Delfi photo

MINSK, 15 October(BelTA) – It is important to develop cooperation between Belarus and Ukraine through inter-regional relations and at the level of business entities, former Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel on 13 October, BelTA learned.

“We need to understand that the relations at the level of governments and ministries represent just one-tenth of our capabilities. Actually the most interesting relationship is regional, at the level of business entities,” Viktor Yushchenko said.

According to him, it is important that high politics cultivate the climate of relations, demonstrate that they are important, that relevant issues are on the agenda and that relations develop in a friendly manner. That we respect each other and need each other... Regions will generate all the rest. I always been a proponent of idea of cultivating realpolitik, as wide and deep as possible, at the level of economic entities and local authorities.

In his words, the trade between Belarus and Ukraine reached $7 billion in previous years. The parties are working to get back to this level. The possibilities of cooperation, however, are not limited to merchandise trade only. The politician cited the IT sector as an example. “We represent two knowledge-based nations. The digital revolution has made us talk about completely different disciplines, economies. We have a huge untapped mutual potential and a big future,” said Viktor Yushchenko.

As BelTA has reported, the first Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine will be held in Gomel on 25-26 October. The parties have already agreed on the concept and main elements of the program. The Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine was suggested by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko during his official visit to Kiev in July 2017. His Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko supported the idea and suggested holding the next forum in Zhitomir.

In January-August 2018, Belarus was Ukraine's second biggest partner in trade and export, and fourth in import. In January-August 2018, Belarus-Ukraine trade soared 23.7% to reach $3.7 billion. The Belarusian export went up by 23.5%, the import from Ukraine rose by 24.4%.

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