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28 December 2022, 16:27

Consulate General of Russia opens in Grodno

MINSK, 28 December (BelTA) - The Consulate General of the Russian Federation opened in Grodno on 28 December, BelTA learned from the press service of the Russian embassy.

The event was attended by Russian Ambassador to Belarus Boris Gryzlov, Russian Consul General in Brest Oleg Murashev, Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Karanik, Grodno Mayor Mechislav Goi, Belarusian Presidential Aide - Inspector of Grodno Oblast Yuri Karayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Nazaruk and other officials.

In his speech Boris Gryzlov said: “It is symbolic that the opening of another Russian diplomatic mission in Belarus marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our brotherly countries. This event reflects the significant progress that we, together with our Belarusian friends, have made both in the integration construction of the Union State and in the strengthening of ‘classical' political, trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation.”

At present, in addition to the Russian embassy in Minsk, there is the Consulate General in Brest, the Russian House in Minsk and its branches in Gomel and Brest, the House of Moscow, as well as the Trading Mission, offices of the Federal Customs Service and several other Russian agencies and organizations, such as the office of the Rosatom State Corporation. In Vitebsk, Russia is represented by the Honorary Consul. “All of these institutions, along with the Belarusian representative offices in Russia, form the infrastructure of Russian-Belarusian relations, provide an unprecedented level of coordination and cooperation that has been achieved by the two countries. The new Russian diplomatic mission that we are opening in Grodno today will make a major contribution to this work,” the ambassador said.

Grodno Oblast is one of the major economic centers of Belarus. The scale of cooperation between this Belarusian region and Russia is steadily increasing. “It is enough to say that Russia accounts for over 55% of Grodno Oblast's foreign trade. The presence of the Russian representative office in this beautiful city with centuries long history is an absolute necessity,” Boris Gryzlov said.

In his words, this year Grodno hosted the 9th Forum of Regions of Russia and Belarus, during which the parties signed RUB65 billion worth of contracts. “Few countries can boast such a level of economic cooperation today. The exchange on the humanitarian track is as intensive. All this, of course, requires proper legal and documentary support. The Consulate General also works on notary and legalization issues, document request, provides assistance in solving customs and many other pressing issues. Now addressing such issues will be easier and more effective,” he said.

There are about 9,000 Russians with residence permits in Belarus, as well as Russian specialists from Rosatom who live and work within the consular district of Grodno Oblast. “Of course, the Russian diplomatic mission in Grodno will noticeably simplify life of citizens of Russia, Belarus and other countries who need consular services, such as receiving passports, solving civil registration issues, citizenship and visas issues, etc. This is a big step forward and the groundwork for the future,” the diplomat said.

He also noted that the opening of the Consulate General in Grodno was completed in record-breaking time. “We should give credit for this to our Belarusian friends. This also proves our common interest in strengthening bilateral ties,” said the ambassador.

The preparatory stages were completed so quickly and in such a coordinated manner that technical specialists simply could not keep up with the schedule. While all the technical work on the building is still at the stage of completion, the most needed consular services will be provided in the format of regular onsite consular receptions.

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