MINSK, 2 June (BelTA) – Every region of Belarus and Russia should worker harder to develop further economically, socially and culturally for the benefit of people and produce greater results despite the current adverse conditions, Governor of Russia's Leningrad Oblast Alexander Drozdenko said at a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 2 June, BelTA has learned.
The head of the region stressed that it is a great honor for the Russian delegation to meet with the Belarusian head of state. He noted that local authorities in both countries have consistently fulfilled the presidents' instructions on the development of economic, social and cultural ties. One of such tasks voiced by Aleksandr Lukashenko was to hit $500 million in trade, and then $700 million. "I would like to report that we are on the way to fulfill this task," Alexander Drozdenko said.
"Let me quote you as a classic. You put it right and I really liked it,” the governor continued addressing the Belarusian president. “At the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on 27 May, you said: ‘We must rally together and act as a united front. We need this and there is no other way if we want to preserve our statehood, our union and if we actually think about the good for our peoples.' Those are absolutely the right words. In this situation, of course, every region of Belarus and Russia should worker harder to develop further economically, socially and culturally for the benefit of people and produce greater results despite the current adverse conditions. "
According to the governor, Belarus is a strategic partner for Leningrad Oblast. "In 2021, Belarus was our first largest partner in terms of import and second in terms of export. We've never had those numbers. This is really great progress. The results of the first five months [of this year] are encouraging too," he stressed.
According to him, new prospects for cooperation are opening up. For example, at the end of last year, Leningrad Oblast ranked first in Russia in the construction of housing per capita. The region is among the top five in terms of housing construction. "Today, due to certain unfriendly actions, we have problems, for example, with freight elevators," he explained. "We very much count on the support of the Mogilev lift producer." There is also interest in the acquisition of road-building equipment, public transport vehicles.
Leningrad Oblast and Belarus already have joint experience in the construction of social facilities (schools for 825 children in the town of Novoselye). "We need to carefully analyze our targeted program and see which objects we can contract to Belarus builders. Moreover, Belarus offers construction services for a very good price/quality ratio," said Alexander Drozdenko.
The cooperation in fish farming holds promise too, the governor said. Leningrad Oblast ranks third in Russia in terms of trout production but now the region is experiencing a shortage of hatchlings, which was previously purchased in the countries that have now taken an unfriendly position towards Russia.
The governor thanked the Belarusian side for the supply of water treatment facilities to the region. The Russian region has already purchased and launched 31 stations. Plans are in place to build 130 stations.