SOCHI, 23 May (BelTA) – Closer cooperation in the manufacturing industry is one of the key topics of the Sochi meeting of the leaders of Belarus and Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
“Of course, one of the key issues is... Everyone probably expects me to say energy - this is important, but cooperation in the manufacturing industry is above all. You have also repeatedly suggested taking additional steps in this direction,” Vladimir Putin said.
The head of state also named cooperation in the energy sector and agriculture as topics that are planned for discussion. “These matters will be discussed in greatest detail,” the president added.
The Russian leader pointed to the growth in bilateral trade. According to him, last year bilateral trade was record high and approached $38 billion.
According to the president, the transition to the national currency in settlements with partner states produced an appreciable result. At the same time, there is nothing new for Belarus and Russia in this regard, because the countries have been trading this way for a long time; now the amount of settlements in Russian rubles is increasing.
“You repeatedly suggested doing it. The situation eventually prompted us to do it. This is not to the detriment of our partners. While fulfilling our commitments, we are switching to the national currency, the ruble, across a number of commodity groups and this helps strengthen the ruble,” Vladimir Putin stressed.