MINSK, 6 September (BelTA) – The Belarusian industrial group Belorusneft has been doing well and needs to continue expanding its opportunities every year, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Belorusneft Director General Aleksandr Lyakhov to receive his report on 6 September. Attending the meeting was also Chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova, BelTA has learned.
“It was a sad moment in the history of the company. I still believe that it was a sad moment when, after the discovery of the promising fields in Belarus, we (even before us) produced more than 8 million tonnes of oil. We pumped out our oil because we mistakenly believed that we had a sea of oil in Belarus. Maybe we have something there. Maybe there is some sea that we have not yet found. This is the main topic of today's meeting. But if we produced 8-9 million tonnes of oil today, we would live better than the richest countries on our planet. But, alas, there is no such thing," the Belarusian leader said.
The head of state pins certain hopes on the Pripyat Trough, where potential oil reserves can be. “I have a gut feeling there is oil over there that we don't see yet,” he said.
In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked to report on the work of the company and, most importantly, on possible problems.
Generally speaking, the president said that he had no big complaints about Belorusneft: “Maybe, I am not that deep into the details. But if something was wrong, I would have been reported and informed immediately. There are no big complaints, except for one: we have to expand our operations every year, and not only abroad.”
The president also asked about the company's work in Russia, including oil production. “This is a very important topic for me ahead of the meeting with the Russian president. Perhaps, you will have some suggestions that will be of interest to Russia and Belarus. I will discuss them with him,” the head of state said.
The president promised he would help the company to deal with excessive red-tape and bureaucracy. This also pertains to the development of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles in Belarus.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also stated that Belorusneft, as well as other major companies, should engage in development of the territories and the social sector. “You know that our country is Slavic. These people have never been rich,” he said.
The president recalled that the same approach was used recently during the opening of a new Belaruskali mining and processing plant in Petrikov: “The territory, the lands, the villages and Petrikov itself have been cleaned up. Of course, not everything has been done yet, but it is nice to visit Petrikov today. It is already a modern city and has a prospect of development.”
The private company Slavkaliy, which develops a deposit near Luban, is facing similar tasks.
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that Belorusneft operates mainly in Gomel Oblast, many areas of which were affected by the Chernobyl disaster. “Think about the efforts you will make to help this region. At least in the places where you work. I know you do quite a lot. But you understand: these are poor areas. You cannot get rich from agriculture. But they do a great job. So, of course, we need to help them,” the Belarusian leader said.