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25 September 2020, 13:24

Lukashenko in favor of stepping up cooperation with Russia's Irkutsk Oblast

MINSK, 25 September (BelTA) – It is necessary to step up cooperation and implement new joint projects. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Governor of Russia's Irkutsk Oblast Igor Kobzev on 25 September, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Igor Kobzev on a recent confident victory at the Irkutsk Oblast governor election. “The percentage of trust in you that Siberians demonstrated is crazy. It is good that you are a bit far from the West. Otherwise, you too would have suffered a color revolution due to the high percentage at the election,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted with a bit of humor.

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the big role of direct ties with Russian regions and with the heads of the regions in the advancement of interstate relations between Belarus and Russia.

Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined the importance of the visit of the delegation of Russian regions to Belarus. “Irkutsk Oblast is a giant in Russia. It is a mainstay region in Siberia. We have a great deal of plans and virtually resolved issues. We just have to shake things up a bit,” he said.

In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the success of the assembly enterprise OOO Mogilevliftmash-Usolye as an example. Its products are in demand in various countries, particularly in the post-Soviet republics. The lifts are used to replace outdated ones in apartment buildings. According to the president, Irkutsk Oblast may be interested in Belarusian mining equipment, trucks, mining vehicles, public transport solutions, electric cars, various kinds of vehicles powered by gas engine fuel.

“We will give you access to any place in Belarus so that you could once again have a look and make sure that we can do something for our Siberians, who have always enjoyed the greatest respect of the Belarusian nation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.

In turn, Igor Kobzev noted that Irkutsk Oblast is a special region, including for Belarus. In 2019 trade and economic cooperation surged, with the volume of trade going up by 2.6 times in comparison with 2018 to over $284 million. However, the figures have dropped this year due to the pandemic. According to the governor, both sides are now intent on spurring their trade development efforts. “Let's see where we can do better in order to keep developing our cooperation,” he said. “Both sides are active.”

In 2019 Belarus' trade with Russia's Irkutsk Oblast reached $284.3 million. Due to the complicated epidemic situation this year the volume of trade totaled $46.6 million, with Belarus' export at $17 million and import at $29.6 million. Belarus' main exports to Irkutsk Oblast include insulated wires, cables, fluorides, fluorosilicates and fluoroaluminates, trucks, machines and mechanisms for earthworks. Belarus imports from Irkutsk Oblast aluminum wire and raw aluminum, specific goods, oil made out of oil-bearing crop seeds and fruits.

An enterprise to assemble Mogilevliftmash lifts (OOO Mogilevliftmash-Usolye) has been working in the region since 2018. The Belarusian tire maker OAO Belshina has a distributor in the region. There is a dealership chain to sell products of the Belarusian companies MTZ, MAZ, Amkodor, Gomselmash, and BelAZ.

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