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20 April 2023, 13:20

St. Petersburg governor praises Lukashenko as remarkable, genuine president

Aleksandr Beglov
Aleksandr Beglov

MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) – It is very comfortable for St. Petersburg authorities to work with Belarusian partners. St. Petersburg Governor Aleksandr Beglov made the statement after meeting with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 20 April, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Beglov said: “It is very comfortable and good for us. And we feel like in a brotherly home here. You have a remarkable president! A genuine one!”

He cited a concrete example to describe how cooperation with Belarus is evolving and mentioned the Belarusian president has a good and strong team. The governor said: “When we were deciding on buying buses, they [the Belarusian automobile manufacturer MAZ] were participating in an expo and I simply came to the expo to look around. I entered one of the buses and said: it would be a good idea to make this for the driver, a little door here, and make this for moms with prams. They told me: okay. And when we started the [bus purchase] tender, all the suggestions had already been implemented. Now one can put not only a pram with a kid there. One can put a bicycle there. Convenient, good. And the most important thing Belarusian manufacturers have been able to accomplish is transition to gas engine fuel. It was one of our conditions because St. Petersburg is a large metropolitan city. They did it. They just went ahead and did it!”

Moreover, the sides agreed that all the municipal vehicles, which will be made and shipped to St. Petersburg, will also be powered by gas engine fuel.

The purchase of large-capacity buses in Belarus was also discussed during the meeting with the president. Aleksandr Beglov said that MAZ had won a tender for the delivery of 270 articulated large-capacity buses. “Here you go! Well done!,” the governor said.

On the whole, the governor noted that a large delegation had arrived to participate in St. Petersburg Days in Minsk. And all the instructions given by the presidents of Belarus and Russia had been fulfilled, including in the manufacturing sector, healthcare, food industry, education, logistics, and tourism. Targets are being exceeded everywhere, the dynamics of development of the relations is very good.

Belarus has been steadily St. Petersburg's top trading partner among the CIS states. In 2022 Belarus became St. Petersburg's second biggest trading partner in the world in terms of import.

During the second Belarusian Food Forum, which took place in St. Petersburg in May, agreements were reached on shipping Belarusian foods worth RUB14.6 billion or nearly three times as much as in 2021. These products will be shipped via St. Petersburg among other places. Trade representations of major Belarusian companies have been registered in St. Petersburg and manage shipments of Belarusian products all over Russia. A pilot project for setting up Belarusian trade zones in St. Petersburg marketplaces is being discussed as well as the possibility of participation of Belarusian companies in St. Petersburg fairs.

In the last few years Belarus and St. Petersburg reached new heights in shipments of transport vehicles and municipal vehicles. In 2022 St. Petersburg acquired 2,500 urban buses, including 894 made by Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ trademark). A contract has been signed for the delivery of 97 Belarusian trolleybuses with an increased autonomous range. Purchases will continue in 2023. Plans are in place to invite Belarusian manufacturers to an open contest for creating the first depot of 400 electrobuses.

Belarusian municipal vehicles, small and medium-sized tractors are also in demand for cleaning block courtyards in St. Petersburg's historical center. With this in mind the city has bought 922 tractors from MTZ and 76 loaders of Belarusian make. There are plans to set up localized manufacturing facilities for repairing Belarusian vehicles and machines.

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