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20 March 2023, 15:38

Kalmykia head speaks about potential of cooperation with Belarus

Batu Khasikov
Batu Khasikov

MINSK, 20 March (BelTA) - Head of the Republic of Kalmykia of Russia Batu Khasikov mentioned the areas of cooperation which the two parties intended to develop in the near future as he spoke to the media after the meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 20 March, BelTA has learned.

“We already have a foundation in our relations. However, as Aleksandr Grigoriyevich [Lukashenko] stressed, our interaction symbolizes a new round in the development of relations, and we need to build up on this potential,” the head of the region said.

According to him, Kalmykia is especially interested in developing cooperation in the agro-industrial complex. “We are actively developing agriculture - crop and livestock farming. In order to do it effectively, we need agricultural equipment. Two-thirds of our agricultural equipment is made in Belarus. Today we face the urgent task of modernizing agricultural machinery and ensuring its maintenance. Aleksandr Grigoriyevich supported us here. We will work in this direction,” the head of the region said.

In turn, Kalmykia is ready to share its experience in cattle breeding. The region's state university has an Institute of Genetics, which sells embryos of farm animals. “We are proud of our national breeds. They are resistant to various diseases and climatic conditions. Here we are ready to strengthen our cooperation,” Batu Khasikov said.

According to him, another promising direction is construction. Kalmykia is building a lot of social facilities, housing and roads. There is a need for appropriate materials, that is why the possibility of cement supplies from Belarus is being discussed. An agreement has been reached to admit students from Kalmykia to study construction professions in local universities.

Kalmykia offers Belarusians extensive tourism potential, including a visit to the unique national reserve Black Lands, which is home to the world's oldest antelope - saigas. “There are many places of power. Kalmykia is a Buddhist region, which is located in the European part of Russia. Visitors, tourists find it interest to learn our unique culture. We invite you, and I am sure there will be mutual interest,” the head of the region said. In his words, Belarus has wonderful tourism infrastructure, there are many health centers and rest houses, which will certainly be of interest for the residents of Kalmykia. “There is a potential here. I would like to emphasize that it is an area which may already produce an effect if we are actively involved in it,” he said.

Speaking about bilateral trade, Batu Khasikov admitted that its level was not so high yet, but the momentum was encouraging: if in 2021 it was $700,000, then in 2022 it reached $1,3 million.

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