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27 May 2024, 11:21

Lukashenko: Belarus seeks to reinvigorate partnerships with Russia’s Altai Krai

An archive photo
An archive photo
MINSK, 27 May (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in scaling up existing partnerships and creating new ones with Russia’s Altai Krai, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Altai Krai Governor Viktor Tomenko, BelTA has learned.

The head of state warmly welcomed a very big Altai Krai delegation in Minsk, noting that people from this region are very close in spirit to Belarusians. After all, the region is rightfully considered the breadbasket of Siberia, one of the largest agricultural regions of Russia. Altai Krai is among the top ten grain producers (primarily high-quality wheat) among Russian regions. In 2023 the region harvested almost 1 million tonnes of buckwheat, making it Russia’s biggest producer of this crop.

Belarus is not a foreign land for the Russian governor, as his mother hails from a place near Mozyr. And the day before, Viktor Tomenko visited the land of his ancestors and talked with relatives.

The president expressed hope that the ongoing visit of the Altai Krai delegation will help overcome some setback in trade and will give a boost to efforts to expand existing partnerships and create new ones. The head of state outlined a number of promising avenues of cooperation. “I hope we will give them a serious impetus,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Supply of agricultural machinery

Thousands of Belarus tractors and Polesie combines are in operation in Altai Krai. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus is ready to meet the region’s needs for spare parts and maintenance service, including personnel training, as well as to supply the latest equipment, including combines and tractors.

Mechanical engineering

The program of the visit of the Russian delegation includes tours to the country’s industry flagships (MTZ, Amkodor, MAZ); their products have performed well not only in Russia, but also in other markets. The president noted that Belarus is interested in Altai Krai-made component parts for the mechanical engineering industry.

In this context, Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned elevator equipment made in Belarus. More than 60% of replaced elevators in residential buildings of Altai Krai were made in Belarus. This year the region is set to replace elevators in almost 400 houses, so Belarus would like to take part in tenders and is ready to supply elevators for new buildings and provide their maintenance services and repairs.

Passenger transport

Belarus-made passenger vehicles are widely represented in the transport fleet of Altai Krai. Belarus would like to keep shipping modern buses powered by gas or diesel, including school buses, barrier-free low-floor buses, as well as electric buses. To make a decision, the Russian delegation was invited to study the MAZ model range directly at the company’s premises and take a test drive.

Supply of special-purpose equipment

A wide range of utility vehicles, road-building machinery and other special-purpose machines is produced by Belarus’ Amkodor. The tour of the company is included in the program of the Altai Krai delegation’s visit to Belarus. “We are ready to ship all products that your region needs as soon as possible,” the head of state assured.

Firefighting and emergency equipment developed by an enterprise in Minsk Oblast may be of interest to the Russian side. It uses MAZ chassis and modern composite materials, which ensures high reliability and an extended service life - up to 20 years.

Livestock farming

Speaking about cooperation prospects in livestock farming, the president suggested combining competencies in the export of equipment for livestock and dairy farms, the scientific support of livestock farming, the supply of elite breeds of livestock, as well as the development of compound feed.

“You are familiar with our BNBC [Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation], from which you can order and buy the most modern and nutritious feed,” added the Belarusian head of state.

UAVs for civilian use

Altai Krai is working on a regional program as part of the Unmanned Aviation Systems national project. This program will allow buying unmanned aerial vehicles for the needs of agriculture, education, and environmental protection.

“Belarus has good competencies in this field,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “We are ready to introduce you to them. If you like them, we will collaborate.”

Solid household waste recycling

The Altai Krai governor pays considerable attention to waste treatment; five waste processing complexes are being built in the region. “In this regard, we can also be useful to you,” the president noted.

Humanitarian field

In addition to traditional economic areas, Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested paying more attention to cooperation in humanitarian matters, including education and sports, as well as in new industries.

“It’s nice that you, Viktor Petrovich, have brought the Altai Krai Drama Theater to Minsk on tour,” said the president. “The Belarusian State Philharmonic Society and the Tsitovich National Academic Folk Music Choir are ready to conduct exchange tours. And we have a lot of theaters.”

Tourism and transportation

The head of state emphasized that Belarus is interested in promoting tourism with Altai Krai. “This is one of the most beautiful, fabulous regions of Russia,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “In order to give an impetus to travel, both business and sightseeing trips, it is necessary to have convenient logistics. I specifically mean launching direct flights between Minsk and Barnaul. In my opinion, this topic needs thorough consideration,” the head of state noted.

Summarizing what was said, the president emphasized Belarus’ openness to a substantive conversation in all areas. “We are looking forward to counter-proposals from you. All proposals will be carefully studied at the level of those present here and other members of the government, and we will definitely make appropriate decisions. We would very much like to cooperate with your region,” the head of state concluded.
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