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27 June 2022, 12:12

Lukashenko cautions against red tape in Belarus-Russia import substitution projects


 Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko meet in St. Petersburg on 25 June. Photo by the Russian president's press service - BelTA
Vladimir Putin and Aleksandr Lukashenko meet in St. Petersburg on 25 June. Photo by the Russian president's press service - BelTA

MINSK, 27 June (BelTA) – It is extremely important that our joint work with Russia in import substitution should proceed without any red tape and bureaucracy, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's Samara Oblast Dmitry Azarov in Minsk on 27 June, BelTA has learned.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the topic of import substitution was discussed in detail during his recent talks with the Russian leader. "This is the number one question. We agreed to keep this process under tight control," the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that both Belarus and Russia are sometimes prone to red tape and bureaucracy: "Sometimes we map out all the steps, outline things to be solved, but once we get down to it, all kinds of ‘miracles' begin to surface. We know about this and, I stress again, the Russia president and I thoroughly analyzed these things and even gave orders to the people concerned."

The head of state explained what the issue is about. For example, Belarus, within the framework of the joint import substitution program, has suggested 15 projects for implementation. "But what happened then? Some in Russia said that they need only 10 projects. Five projects are uninteresting [to Russia] and Belarus can export these goods to third markets. But kudos to Putin. He said that Russia is interested in everything, because for Belarus to sell its goods in third countries, it must produce them first, and for that it uses components from the Russian Federation, about 50% of them. “So how can these projects be uninteresting?!” the president said. “So there is a decision, and you should take it into account without any reservations, that the projects on import substitution sponsored by Russia ($1.5 billion earmarked to Belarus) must be implemented without any delay."

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