VITEBSK, 28 February (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia need to bolster regional ties, Lyudmila Dobrynina, the deputy chairperson of the budget and finance commission of the Belarus-Russia Union State Parliamentary Assembly, told the media in Vitebsk on 28 February, BelTA has learned.
The history of regional cooperation in the Union State shows that the interaction between cities and regions can accelerate all other processes, Lyudmila Dobrynina noted. Regional integration also involves economic entities. Therefore, it is necessary to extend the framework of integration, enhance the role of entrepreneurial organizations, she said.
As an example, Lyudmila Dobrynina cited the cooperation between Vitebsk and Russian regions. Numerous agreements and treaties are aimed at promoting the cooperation in science, economy, culture and social affairs.
Vitebsk Vice Mayor Zinaida Koroleva added that more than 600 organizations of the city maintain foreign economic relations with 70 regions of Russia. In 2017 the trade between economic entities of the two countries reached $900 million, up by 25% over 2016. Top ten trading partners of Vitebsk include the city of Moscow and Moscow Oblast, Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, the Republic of Tatarstan, Tyumen Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, Pskov Oblast, Murmansk Oblast, Irkutsk Oblast and Samara Oblast. They accounted for more than 65% of the trade of Vitebsk with the Russian Federation.
The Vitebsk city authorities view the development of sustainable cooperation between manufacturers of Vitebsk and Russian partners as one of the promising areas of interaction. The Belarusian city is home to more than 200 organizations with the Russian capital. There are a number of proposals to set up new ones.
The twinning relations and partner ties between Vitebsk and Russian regions grow stronger very year. For example, in 2017 the Belarusian city signed cooperation agreements with Irkutsk, Volgograd and Saratov, in 2016 with Beloyarsky District, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. The main areas of cooperation are trade, economy , social affairs and culture, participation in fairs, forums and other projects. The mechanism of regional relations is specified in the annual plans of joint activities.
Great attention is paid to the historical heritage of the partner cities, and tourism. One of the innovative projects in this area is the project to develop a program of tourist route “To the origins of the ancient Rus” that will cover the cities with the millennial history: Smolensk-Vitebsk-Polotsk-Pskov.