MINSK, 28 July (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to step up cooperation with Russia's Perm Territory, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Perm Territory Governor Dmitry Makhonin, BelTA has learned.
“Your region is rich, and people are very talented, advanced. And, most importantly, this is a promising and forward-looking region. You keep saying that this region is the backbone of Russia. I absolutely agree with you. And since this is the backbone of huge Russia, we are destined to cooperate,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that Belarus is ready to make every effort to promote cooperation with the region: “You should know that we will always do everything possible and even impossible for the Russians in general, and even more so for your people, our people in Perm Territory.”
The head of state pointed to a slight decrease in trade with Perm Territory and the need to take additional measures to boost it. “We should demonstrate to everyone that we can do without those who do not want to work with us, and we should also demonstrate that we can achieve a lot. Therefore, we are at your service both in terms of supplies and cooperation. We need to trade. Yet, the most reliable cooperation path is when we are intertwined with each other and our enterprises cooperate,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that mechanical engineering is one of economic mainstays in Belarus; the country has good competencies and skills in this field. Back in the Soviet Union, it was the place where finishing and assembly were done. “We, a country with strong mechanical engineering, are ready to cooperate with you. Not only to trade, but also cooperate in order to make products together,” he said.
Agriculture is another area where Belarus has good competencies. This is the economic sector where Belarus and Perm Territory can expand their cooperation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote import substitution against the background of the sanctions. “We need to rely on our own strength, develop our own capacity, substitute imports in all areas. Let's work on this together. Some say there are some barriers to this. At least the Russian president and I have no disagreements in this regard,” the Belarusian leader said.
Belarus offers its construction services to Perm Territory: “We are ready to run turnkey projects in agriculture, in social infrastructure construction, if needed. After all, Belarus and Perm Territory have a history of cooperation in the construction sector. We should maintain momentum. We are ready to take part in the region's construction projects.”
Apart from construction, many regions are running large-scale projects to refurbish the old housing stock, and this primarily concerns elevator equipment. “We also retained our gigantic enterprise that shipped elevators to the entire country [the Soviet Union]. Of course, we also need to replace elevators in our country. But we are ready to lend a shoulder to you. I know that this matter is very relevant everywhere in Russia. I hope we will be able to execute all the orders. We are ready to work on it,” the head of state said.
In conclusion, he assured that Belarus would certainly fulfill all the agreements reached no matter how difficult it might be.