MINSK, 25 September (BelTA) – Russia's Leningrad Oblast could become one of Belarus' top five trading partners among Russian regions, Belarus Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said as he met with Leningrad Oblast Governor Aleksandr Drozdenko on 25 September, BelTA has learned.
“Leningrad Oblast is a reliable and trustworthy partner. It is currently 11th in terms of trade. I believe it should make it to the top ten, or even top five. It would perfectly reflect the existing potential,” Roman Golovchenko noted.
In 2019, Belarus-Leningrad Oblast trade totaled around $600 million. “Due to obvious reasons, it has went down a little this year. In the first half of the year, the trade amounted to about $280 million, 8% down. However, the decline was not as big as it could have been, taking into account the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic,” the prime minister said.
Roman Golovchenko also proposed to update the program of cooperation between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast and set clear and specific goals.
Russia's support is important for Belarus amid the pressure from the West, the prime minister noted. “After the presidential election, we have faced unprecedented pressure from the West. Although the pressure has subsided a bit, we are still witnessing attempts to interfere in our domestic affairs with the aim to destabilize the situation and force on us the result that would benefit someone else and be at odds with the nation's choice,” Roman Golovchenko said. “In this situation, it is very important for us to receive support from our closest ally – the Russian Federation. We highly value this,” he added.
Photos by Andrei Pokumeiko