High degree of mutual trust
Chisinau recently hosted negotiations between the presidents of Belarus and Moldova
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko emphasises that Belarus views Moldova as a reliable partner and prioritises our development of political and economic relations, speaking to Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti, during an official visit to Chisinau
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko meets President of Moldova Nicolae Timofti
Chisinau recently hosted negotiations between the presidents of Belarus and Moldova, tackling all areas of bilateral relations. Mr. Lukashenko remarked that it had been 14 years since the two presidents had previously met. “However, this doesn’t mean that our relations with Moldova have been on the backburner. Unwaveringly, we view Moldova as a reliable partner: a country friendly to us. We view developing political and economic relations as a priority.”
Moldova is an important trade-economic partner for Belarus, being ranked fifth in Belarus’ total trade with the CIS states. Since 2000, Belarus-Moldova trade has increased five-fold, reaching almost $360m in 2013.
According to the Belarusian President, some headway has been made, but more is possible. Negotiations focused on the development of trade-economic relations between our two countries, while Mr. Lukashenko also noted his satisfaction with our high level of interaction on the international arena. This includes liaisons within the framework of the UN, OSCE, and CIS, as well as other universal and regional organisations.
Belarusian relies on joint efforts by Belarusian and Moldovan MPs, and the development of legislation, to encourage production co-operation and the establishment of joint ventures and enterprises. The President of Belarus also believes that industrial collaboration with Moldova is promising and should lead to sales on the markets of third countries — including within the EU. Projects to assemble Belarusian agricultural machinery and trolleybuses are already being implemented in Moldova, with bus assembly next in line.
Mr. Lukashenko asserts that our two states could increase bilateral trade to $1bn, with Belarus supplying machinery and petrochemical products, light industry goods, construction materials, household appliances, medications and food. Belarus is also interested in helping Moldova develop its road infrastructure and agricultural industry.
Mr. Lukashenko believes that Moldova’s signing of the association agreement with the European Union should not negatively affect its relations with Belarus. “There is only one problem: a new situation has emerged and new approaches and solutions are needed. We must create new forms while seeking new paths of co-operation,” he stresses.
Working meetings in Chisinau dedicated to concrete agreements
Belarus hopes for more active co-operation with Moldova within the CIS and Mr. Lukashenko expects the Moldovan President to visit Minsk for the regular CIS Summit. He has invited Nicolae Timofti to come to Belarus on an official visit to audit the fulfilment of recent agreements. Meanwhile, a full package of documents to expand bilateral liaisons has been signed.
Mr. Lukashenko and Nicolae Timofti have signed a joint statement defining the steady development of Belarusian-Moldovan relations, to the mutual benefit of our two countries. This encompasses industrial co-operation, further expansion of assembly enterprises set up in Moldova to meet demand on the Moldovan market and the possible export of merchandise to third countries.
The presidents are confident that the current visit of the Belarusian leader to Moldova will help advance political dialogue, trade-economic, and interregional relations, while contributing to the further enhancement of friendship and co-operation between our two states. Speaking of Ukraine, the Belarusian President stressed that much has been done to settle the conflict, including colossal work by the Minsk-based contact group on Ukraine. He emphasised, “They stopped the bloodbath: the meat grinder. It’s a great accomplishment. Wars do not end in one go; they begin easily and continue without difficult, but are very hard to withdraw from. It has been true throughout history. Much has been achieved.” He added that withdrawal from the conflict will be very difficult for Ukraine but he believes that war can be avoided.
In Chisinau, Mr. Lukashenko also met the Chairman of the Moldovan Parliament, Igor Corman, and leaders of parliamentary factions. Mr. Corman expressed hope that the visit by the Belarusian Head of State would inspire the development of our bilateral relations and noted that Moldova is moving into closer association with the EU. “However, we’re keen not only to preserve but to develop our relations with Eastern partners,” he underlined. The Parliamentary Speaker highlighted that relations between Belarus and Moldova are a good example of how collaboration can be established.
The President of Belarus believes that, within the next five years, Moldova could develop hugely, as he emphasised to Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leancă. Mr. Lukashenko stressed that he knows Moldova very well, having visited the country many times. He notes that he has always felt comfortable there. Meanwhile, Mr. Leancă values the Belarusian President’s visit as an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations but to discuss the situation in the region.
The following day, President Lukashenko joined President Timofti in opening a commercial centre selling paving tiles and sanitary ware produced by leading Belarusian company Keramin, in Chisinau. Mr. Lukashenko called it a landmark event showing the development of business co-operation between our two countries. Later, he added that Moldova has faced difficulties in the past but that ‘everything is surmountable’. He promised, “You just need to join efforts and work hard in this direction; we’ll be your reliable companion.”