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01 February 2024, 12:39

Lukashenko names cooperation prospects with Russia’s Bryansk Oblast

MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) - Reaching $1 billion in trade is far from being the limit for Belarus and Russia’s Bryansk Oblast, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Bryansk Oblast Governor Alexander Bogomaz on 1 February, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian leader welcomed the head of the Russian region in Minsk, noting that they had a brief talk at the Kupala festival in Alexandria last July. Apart from that, Alexander Bogomaz visits Gomel Oblast quite often. According to the president, he instructed Gomel Oblast Governor Ivan Krupko to develop closer cooperation with Bryansk Oblast. “I have been informed that you have established good contacts. I welcome them and will support them in every possible way,” the Belarusian leader said.

On long-standing human ties and good-neighborliness

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Bryansk Oblast is one of Russia’s closest regions to Belarus. Belarus and Bryansk Oblast came to each other's aid back in the 1990s when the times were hard and there was a shortage of agricultural machinery. "Since the Soviet times we have had the warmest, friendliest, kindest, brotherly relations between our peoples. Thank God we have not drawn a border to create inconveniences for our people, as it happened with Poland, the Baltic states, and what is even worse, with Ukraine,” the head of state said.

The long-standing historical and human ties between Belarus and Bryansk Oblast are strong and multifaceted, the president said. “The same applies to another closest neighbor of ours - Chernigov Oblast of Ukraine. The spirit of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation has always reigned on the border of the three countries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said, noting with regret that everything has dramatically changed in the recent times. Belarusians are ready to do anything possible to find a way out of this situation.

On $1 billion worth of trade and industrial projects

The president emphasized that the economy is at the heart of solving any current and possible future issues.    

“As it was said in the Soviet times: if there is economy, production, there will be work for parties, Komsomol, and trade unions. The same is true about the present day.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus and Bryansk Oblast set a goal of raising trade to $1 billion in 2020. “Last year we had a slight decline in mutual trade, due to different reasons. The trade made up some $800 million in 2023. This year we are determined to restore the previously achieved figures.”

“I don't think anyone needs explanations to see that $1 billion is far from being the limit. The main reserve is large-scale cooperation industrial projects,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. As an example of such interaction, he cited the cooperation between Bryansk Oblast and Belarusian machine-building flagships - AMKODOR and Gomselmash, which have launched their production facilities in this Russian region.

“We are ready to further develop this experience, including the opening of other enterprises in Bryansk Oblast to manufacture machinery, materials, equipment - anything you need and we can do,” the president said.

On joint prospects in agriculture

The parties also discussed cooperation in agriculture. According to the head of state, this in the sector where the parties have a lot to learn from each other, especially since the two territories share similar soil and climatic conditions.

“We know that Bryansk Oblast is Russia’s leader in the production of certain types of agricultural products and sets records in potato and grain yields (rye and triticale, in particular). Your livestock breeding has reached a good level, too. This is one of our priorities as well, which means a huge field for joint activities,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, the Russian delegation headed by Alexander Bogomaz plans to visit the Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation, a unique production complex that makes high-quality animal feed and is about to launch the production of veterinary drugs and equipment for livestock breeding.

"We are ready to expand supplies of food and other goods without interfering with your producers and without competing with you. We need to combine our capabilities in the vast Belarusian-Russian market,” the head of state said.

According to him, scientific cooperation in the agro-industrial sector has great prospects. “Seed breeding, testing of plant varieties, breeding efforts - this is what our scientists have already been doing within the cooperation with Bryansk Oblast. I would like these joint projects to expand, with the major focus being on their practical use,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

On cooperation in construction

Cooperation in the construction industry is also seen as promising, especially since certain experience has already been gained. “You know well how Belarusian builders work. Last year we implemented an investment project to build a 16-storey residential house in Bryansk. If you are satisfied with the performance of our builders, we are ready to continue our cooperation in this respect. I know from my talks with the president of Russia that you have ambitious construction plans, including roads, cultural and industrial facilities, housing,” the president said. In his words, Belarus is ready to join these construction projects, since such cooperation is beneficial and Belarus has the corresponding experience accumulated as part of cooperation with other Russian regions.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus is ready to offer services in major repairs of housing and buildings, road construction, design and engineering surveys. Belarus has also qualified specialists, high-quality machinery and equipment for water supply, water treatment, heating, and waste recycling.

On the revival of Chernobyl territories

Among the promising areas of cooperation Aleksandr Lukashenko named efforts to mitigate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, which affected Bryansk Oblast as much as Belarus.

“We are engaged in the revival of these territories (you know our programs), creating normal living conditions for people. We have unique technologies. If you are interested in them, we are ready to share,” the president said.

“We are ready to listen to all your proposals and make appropriate decisions, if necessary,” the head of state added.
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