MINSK, 1 July (BelTA) - The Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia is an effective response to new challenges, Belarusian head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko said in his video address to the participants of the plenary session of the 9th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia in Grodno, BelTA has learned.
"For Belarus and Russia, the forum has long become one of the symbols of kinship of the Slavic peoples. Life shows that we have found a format of interregional and interstate interaction that really meets the fundamental interests of Belarusians and Russians. Moreover, the forum is an effective and adequate response to the new challenges we are facing today," the head of state said.
He noted that interregional cooperation has always helped out in the most difficult times. "That was the case in the 1990s when it was at the regional level that we managed to preserve not only economic ties but also the mental and spiritual unity of the two fraternal peoples. The forum is a popular initiative, not the result of decisions from above. This is a dialogue platform where mechanisms are developed to implement the agreements adopted at the high and highest levels," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In the current geopolitical realities, the forum fulfills an important mission, which is to reinforce the economic foundation of the Union State, the president said.
This year contacts with the heads of Russian regions have become much more active, the head of state noted. The geography of such contacts is expanding. Some governors have visited Belarus more than once. "Our country has found something to interest each delegation. We have gotten new export opportunities and acquired unique competencies, during, for example, the construction of the Vostochny cosmodrome or the Belarusian nuclear power plant," he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko proposed to take stock of how the decisions of the forum are implemented. "Not for control purposes but for optimizing all agreements," the head of state explained.
The president suggested making this platform the center of gravity for interregional initiatives.