MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) - Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the construction of ports for Belarusian cargo in Bronka and Murmansk as he met with Governor of Russia's St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov in Minsk on 20 April, BelTA has learned.
"We are now working hard on logistics through your city. We are building a logistics infrastructure. We are engaged in the construction of ports in your city and in Murmansk. The port in Bronka is already operating. Plans are in place to expand its capacities. We have no questions here," the head of state said.
"We will develop close cooperation with St. Petersburg," the Belarusian leader added.
A project to develop container traffic through the port of Bronka is in progress in St. Petersburg. It is planned to redirect about 7 million tonnes of Belarusian cargo through the ports of the city. The total capacity of Bronka will be more than 20 million tonnes of cargo per year (almost 10 million tonnes now). Projects are also being drafted to modernize the rail to to the port.
Early this year when hosting a government conference to discuss the export of Belarusian goods the president urged to expedite the construction of Belarusian ports in Russia. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the existing logistics has been disrupted by attempts to choke Belarus with sanctions last year. New logistic routes had to be found. “We will have to discuss these matters, too. At least the fact that you asked me to approach the president of the Russian Federation in order to open ports for us indicates that all the issues have been resolved. A small thing needs to be addressed now: we have to start loading cargoes in these ports. Although we have already started loading in some places. We have to build these ports faster, upgrade them to a certain standard, and trade via our own ports then,” he said.
BelTA reported earlier that in August 2022 the head of state hosted a government conference to discuss the creation of port facilities for exporting Belarusian products. Costs and time requirements of construction, payback periods, and possible risks were discussed. “It is necessary to build a port fast and at minimal costs,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
According to the president, Belarus now has a good chance of building its own port infrastructure. “Something we've been dreaming about for a long time. The Russian Federation has opened doors for us at all levels. At least I see no hindrances but exceptional support from the president of Russia, with whom I am negotiating these matters. I'd like to hear today whether it is so on your level,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian leader stressed: “We have no time to wait for when the infrastructure in some port will be built. We are talking primarily about the northwestern region of the Russian Federation now. The Russian president personally showed all the ports in St Petersburg and around it to me (he knows them thoroughly) and suggested choosing any. But I told him we have to start loading today. He said: choose any site and start loading. This is why (I often speak figuratively) we will load cargoes in sacks while we are building [appropriate infrastructure]. Naturally we cannot ship 12 million tonnes and more in sacks, but nevertheless, it means that today we have to literally use every spare square meter of Russian ports in order to load our cargoes.”