MINSK, 26 August (BelTA) – I asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to set aside 500,000 tonnes of grain for Belarus. But Russia is ready to provide us with 1 million tonnes, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to the media in Minsk on 26 August, BelTA has learned.
"I asked the Russian president to set aside 500,000 tonnes of grain for us, just in case. He told me not to worry. He promised to sell us a million, at affordable prices," Aleksandr Lukashenko revealed the details of the conversation with the Russian leader held earlier.
The head of state explained that he asked to make this reserve just in case, because Belarus itself is set to crop a good grain harvest this year. But given the growing livestock and poultry farming, increasing number of livestock, Belarus may need additional amounts of feed. For its part, Belarus stands ready to increase the supply of dairy and meat products to the Russian market, if necessary.
"Russia and us will be provided with everything necessary," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
He assured that Belarus is food self-sufficient and will earn more than $7 billion on the export of agricultural products this year. "We will not neglect the needs of the domestic market. Everyone will be working as hard as possible to ensure the country's security, including food security. We have everything we need. We will sell domestically as much as necessary. We will earn more than $7 billion just on food exports. We will use this money to buy gas, oil, and everything else. We need about $2 billion a year to pay for gas, and we will earn $7 billion on food alone," the Belarusian leader said.