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26 May 2022, 13:01

Petrishenko: Integration helps Belarus, Russia to withstand Western sanctions

MINSK, 26 May (BelTA) – Thanks to the integration Belarus and Russia have been successfully fighting off the Western sanctions, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said during a panel discussion at the Eurasian Economic Forum via a video link, BelTA has learned.

"Belarus and Russia have built a very close, diverse interaction across a wide range of issues. Citizens of our countries enjoy equal rights in social affairs. We cooperate in security matters. Russia is the main trading partner for Belarus, we cooperate closely in industry. Just the other day, the heads of state met for a regular meeting to discuss ways of advancing bilateral cooperation, including in manufacturing industry. The degree of integration between our countries is high and this allows us to successfully withstand the sanctions from the collective West," Igor Petrishenko said.

Active work is underway on import substitution. "We have drawn up a list of critical imports which our enterprises have lost. It includes several thousand items: from, relatively speaking, nails to raw materials, nodes and components. Manufacturers of Belarus and Russia will replace part of such imports. We are coordinating a list of commodities, the production of which may be launched domestically soon: in automotive industry, agricultural machinery, machine tool building, electronics, light and chemical industries," the deputy prime minister said.

Setting up joint import-substituting companies is a challenging task, Igor Petrishenko noted. "A number of investment projects have been identified for our country. Plans are in place to upgrade the existing manufactures and set up new production facilities at the well-known Belarusian brands (MTZ, MAZ, Gomselmash and others). At the same time, the needs of Russian enterprises are immediately taken into account in the volume of future production," Igor Petrishenko said.

“Sanctions mean not only damage. They also mean new opportunities for strengthening and expanding cooperation with friendly countries and allies,” Igor Petrishenko said.

The Eurasian Economic Forum is held in Bishkek on 26 May. The forum is a venue for direct interaction on the most topical issues of the Eurasian Economic Union, business activities in the EAEU, green energy, interregional ties and cooperation.

The business program of the forum consists of six panel discussions to consider prospects for the strategic development of Eurasian integration, opportunities for economic stability of the EAEU states, issues in industry, agro-industry, energy, transport infrastructure, digital agenda, and new areas of cooperation.

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