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01 March 2019, 11:28

Call on Russian government to stop lobbying for oligarchs' interests

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) – The Russian government should stop lobbying for the interests of the oligarchic clans that block the supplies of Belarusian products, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with community leaders, experts, Belarusian and foreign media on 1 March, BelTA has learned.

The head of state stressed that Belarus exports its best food products to Russia. However, certain groups in Russia exert great pressure and have Belarusian supplies blocked. “The Russian government needs to stop lobbying for the interests of these clans, these oligarchic groups, as they call them, where big business has merged with the authorities to push their interests, blocking our relations in the union. All the treaties and agreements, however, envisage the common market where we can trade freely,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“I said to the Russian government that if they manage to make their agricultural products and food as good as in Belarus, they will be happy people. It is worth mentioning that Russia acknowledges our progress in this regard. Then why block these supplies under the pretext that they are unhealthy? This happens because there is a lot of pressure from certain groups,” the president said.

As an example, the head of state cited the fact that former Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev is one of the largest agricultural barons of the Russian Federation. “I have good relations with him, but this fact is known to everyone. Do you think he will let our sugar, best in quality, through to Russia when he has bought about seven or ten sugar mills,” Alexander Lukashenko said. According to him, people know that Belarusian sugar is of good quality, that Belarus has upgraded its sugar plants, certified them, including for deliveries to Russia. “But he [Alexander Tkachev] understands that we are a very strong competitor to his sugar mills,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted with regret that restrictions are still in place with regard to some enterprises today. Now access to the Russian market is fully denied for 11 dairy companies and seven state meat-packing plants, partially denied for 13 dairy companies. “Why are you doing this, knowing that the Belarusian products are of high quality? Knowing of such treatment on the border we supply the best produce we have to the Russian market so that we should not face any complaints,” the president said.

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