An official visit of the President of Iran Makhmud Akhmadinezhad to Belarus
For the last ten years Alexander Lukashenko met with Iranian presidents seven times: thrice with a former president, Mokhammad Khatami, and four times with the present one. For Makhmud Akhmadinezhad this is a first official visit to Belarus.

Both leaders in their complimentary speech in Minsk called Belarusian-Iranian relations strategic partnership. “There are many talks around our relations. Each interprets them in his own way. But I want to stress: Belarus and Iran are the subjects of international right. And today there are no forbidden grounds between our countries. We are ready to cooperate in all directions”, — Alexander Lukashenko announced. “The aim of Belarusian-Iranian relations is complementarity, — considers Makhmud Akhmadinezhad. — These relations are stable, firm and are designed for a long-term perspective”.

There are economic ties at the heart of international cooperation. Last year the sales turnover between Belarus and Iran amounted to 35,5 billion dollars (both parties, however, called the present sales turnover irresponsive of the potential). Lion’s share of this sum is Belarusian export. Iranian market is very capacious — annually it swallows foreign commodities on the amount of 40 billion dollars.

Automobiles, synthetic fibers, potash fertilizers, integral circuits — these are the main types of goods, exported to Iran.

Recently both countries make books on investment projects. Thus, in Iran the assembling production of MAZ lorries is organized. There exists an analogous project with MTZ tractor. And Belarusian car enthusiasts have already got the opportunity to evaluate Iranian automobiles “Samand”, which are gathered up near Minsk.

Perhaps, this is one of the most perspective spheres of cooperation is oil-and-gas branch. Iran, as is known, possesses the largest supplies of oil and gas in the world (correspondingly nearly 10 and 18 percents of common world supplies). Recently Minsk is looking for the ways of diversification of hydrocarbon supplies and is examining deposits abroad. At the end of a last year organization “Belorusneft” prepared and submitted to Teheran a general development plan of an oil deposit Dzhofeir in Iran.

“I am particularly thankful to the president of Iran for support of our country in such a biting issue as extraction of hydrocarbon material”, — Alexander Lukashenko announced on the meeting of delegations. President of Belarus said that Teheran met Minsk half-way, “allocated the deposit for which we bargained”, and soon the Belorussians will be able to produce oil and to sell it in any region of the world. “The same was told by the President of Iran on extraction and processing of natural gas”, — added Alexander Lukashenko.

As for bilateral relations, Makhmud Akhmadinezhad called Belarus one of the priorities of Iranian foreign policy. “We are at the beginning of our way, but our steps are sensible and prospective”, — he said. At that the President of Iran stressed that it is necessary to undertake certain steps in such spheres as energetics, transport and trade. He also noted the importance of realization of new investment projects.

A solid uniting factor for Minsk and Teheran similar looks on world politics. “Today there is no worthy alternative to formation of a many-polar system of international relations, — Alexander Lukashenko considers. “We adhere to the necessity of creation such system in the world characterized by balance state. We are against unipolarity and influence on other governments”, — repeated the President of Iran.

The final moment of the meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and Makhmud Akhmadinezhad became signing of joint communiquй assigning what the Presidents had been talking about. Several agreements had been signed as well, including the ones on cooperation in the sphere of education and between the National banks.

The second day of the Teheran delegation stay turned to be no less filled with negotiations, including negotiations at top level. Within the informal appointment — during the breakfast, excursions around National Library — Alexander Lukashenko and Makhmud Akhmadinezhad up their own declaration made at the final briefing for journalists, “had removed the matters preventing the development of bilateral relations correspondent to two countries potential”.

The visit of the President of Iran became a significant international event that found its reflection in the world Mass Media: TV channel Euronews dedicated a report to the Minsk negotiations; it was capital news in Russian newspapers. Commentators couldn’t deny that Belarusian-Iranian cooperation should be profitable for sure.

Up to the results Belarusian-Iranian negotiations at top level the Presidents carried out a short briefing.

“We are satisfied by results of the negotiations. We had attainted the goals set before us”, said Alexander Lukashenko. The President thanked the colleague for the help in solving several tasks: “It is a trouble for us being dependent on some government in energy supply. We frankly speaking about that. We asked Iranian party to assist in this problem solving. External trade diversification, particularly export, is a trouble for Belarus as well. For the time being we are very dependent on Russia and European Union in sale of our goods, Iran purchases at amount of 60 billion dollars per year. We’ve got assurance from the President of Iran that this country would purchase Belarusian goods of the world quality at acceptable prices. We accept it”.

Agreements in bank sphere allow to escape mediators while carrying out settlements in trade. Soon a representation office of the Iranian bank and a bank with 100 percent Iranian capital will be opened in Belarus. Thus, two countries will lead to direct financial payments. “It will solve the problems on Belarusian export diversification”, — the President of Belarus is sure.

“Iran has definite troubles and weak points as well. We do not have closed topics for cooperation”, — said Alexander Lukashenko. “We will not yield to the pressure that we are subject to”, — the President of Iran responded to the critics during his meeting with Alexander Lukashenko. According to Makhmud Akhmadinezhad, Belarusian-Iranian relations will be developed to the benefit of regional and world stability and security.

According to his words, Iran is aimed at the extend of comprehensive cooperation with Belarus. It should be reminded that in the communiquй signed by the Presidents is stated about the plans to increase the goods turnover in 15 times — up to 500 million dollars between the governments in the near future. President of Iran had emphasized energetics among the promising directions of cooperation.

Vladimir Kharitonov
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