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25 March 2024, 11:57

Lukashenko sees huge potential in increasing trade with Russia’s Omsk Oblast

MINSK, 25 March (BelTA) – There are plenty of reserves to increase trade between Belarus and Russia’s Omsk Oblast, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Omsk Oblast Governor Vitaly Khotsenko on 25 March, BelTA has learned.  

The president noted that the head of the Russian region was well familiar with Belarus, its history, outstanding people, industrial flagships and agriculture.

“We can start our work immediately, without any delay. Your visit testifies to the fact that we can do a lot. We regard this visit as an interest in our country and also in the further development of the two countries,” the Belarusian leader said.

The annual bilateral trade between Belarus and Omsk Oblast is $110 million. “It is a rather small figure, and we should increase it considerably. There are plenty of reserves to do this,” the president remarked.

Speaking about specific points of growth in trade and economic interaction, Aleksandr Lukashenko first of all focused on Belarus' opportunities for cooperation in agriculture.

Omsk Oblast has recently achieved considerable success in agriculture and now is among the leading regions in the Siberian Federal District in terms of agricultural production. The region is also one of Russia’s top fiber flax producers.

“We should work together here. You know Belarus pays great attention to this area,” the president said. According to him, flax is one of the national symbols for Belarus and is depicted on the country's coat of arms.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has every opportunity to meet Omsk Oblast’s needs in modern and reliable flax harvesting machinery. “This fully applies to other brands of Belarusian machine building – tractors and harvesters, which are well-known in Russia,” he added.

The president said that he had been informed about the work carried out by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Omsk Agrarian Scientific Center in studying, preserving and using plant genetic resources.

“I am convinced that our scientists have a lot to work on. We should ensure that research is not done just for the sake of research. The economy should get an annual effect from scientific activities. We have been increasing funding for these purposes within the Union State framework every year,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “I fully support such cooperation and believe that we can expand the range of variety testing.

The president named import substitution, including in agriculture, as one of the promising areas of cooperation with the Russian region. Especially since there is already a good example of bilateral cooperation. The Omsk Research Institute of Instrument Engineering has developed an automated management system for livestock farms ASU-AGRO. Gomelagrokomplekt is currently working on the implementation of such a system on the Belarusian equipment. Fifteen milking units have already been delivered to Russia. By June 2024, two more units will have been delivered to Omsk Oblast after necessary tests. It will be a joint product made with the use of Belarusian equipment and control system developed by a Russian research institute, which has no analogues in the post-Soviet space. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus counts on Vitaly Khotsenko's support in promoting this product.

Another example of successful investment cooperation mentioned by the head of state is Omsk Carbon Mogilev, a joint project implemented in Mogilev.

Initially, the enterprise was oriented to supply products to Western Europe, but after the imposed sanctions it managed to promptly shift its sales to the Asian region. The enterprise sells to more than 15 countries. The construction of the third and fourth technological flows is nearing completion. Their commissioning will ensure the production of 200,000 tonnes of technical carbon per year.

“I hope there will be more and more such examples of investment cooperation between Belarus and your region,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko named Mogilevliftmash, a company well known in the Russian market, as a good example of partnership in housing and utility services. More than 300 Belarusian elevators were supplied to Omsk Oblast in 2023.
The president also noted the interest of the Russian region in AMKODOR municipal and road-building machinery. “Our enterprise is successfully implementing a number of projects, increasing the production of machinery without Western components, and is ready to supply it as soon as possible,” he said.

In addition to industrial cooperation, trade and investment, the head of state considers it important to maintain contacts between the residents of Belarus and Russian regions, to expand cooperation in the humanitarian sector, i.e. in culture, education, and sports.

“A topic of special importance is joint work on preserving the historical truth and memory of the Great Patriotic War. Many natives of your land took part in defeating the enemy. Unfortunately, they died here and are buried in Belarus. We are carrying out a lot of practical work on documentation and perpetuation of their memory. We invite scientists and researchers from your region to join this important mission,” the president suggested.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “We are open to a substantive conversation in various areas. You can count on us in all areas of cooperation without exception. I think today there is an opportunity to discuss these topics and make appropriate decisions both in the government and at enterprises.”
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