Judging by the calendar, since the first visit of the President of Venezuela Bolivarian Republic Hugo Chavez in Minsk passed a little time. However, as for bilateral relations of Belarus and Venezuela, for more than 11 months, as the experts note, it turned out to make so much as it would not be possible to make with any other country.
The last negotiations, as any meeting with Chavez, were held emotionally. The guest pronounced many warm words about our meeting — about Belarus. Warm feelings are complemented by a pragmatic interest, which is aroused by both countries.
Both presidents in their speeches touched upon the topic of similarity of foreign policy targets of their countries, particularly of a fair world order orientation. It both unites the states and is a good political basis for relations’ forming on the whole spectrum. It is not by chance that every time political issues at the meetings of Hugo Chavez and Alexander Lukashenko are discussed together with economical ones. This was the case during the first visit of Venezuelan President to Belarus, the same could have been observed this time.
“We go at a wide front, — noted Alexander Lukashenko, speaking on the beginning of realization of large-scale projects in completely different spheres — from energetic to war technologies. — We have achieved this just for a year, starting practically from scratch. It is very important to add additional impulse to our relations each month, quarter and year”.
Minsk and Caracas have successfully undergone the first, so to say, introductory stage of relations. Belarusian oil experts, builders and entrepreneurs have settled in Venezuela seriously and for long. Not less Venezuelan people have made their way to Minsk. Just for the last several weeks we hosted two delegations from Caracas. One of them was interested in assembling of Belarusian household appliances organization in Venezuela.
Particularly popular for foreigners were such enterprises as “Atlant”, “Gorizont” and “Vityaz”. Discoursing on this perspective topic, Alexander Lukashenko said that the first assembling productions in Venezuela can be launched already by the end of the year. The second team of Venezuelan specialists discussed possibility of participation of Byelorussian people and our equipment in the gasification of their countries. Belarus has accumulated rich experience in this sphere. Our builders will also participate in one more promising project: soon around Caracas the whole network of small towns-companions will be erected. Experience of Belarusian agrarian towns will also be to the point there.
Hugo Chavez, having acknowledged the work of Belarusian and Venezuelan teams effective, notes that “it is time to rise on the second stage of relations”. From knowing stage to projects’ realization. Some certain results were discussed by the presidents at the meeting in Minsk. The work on creation of a joint enterprise on Venezuelan oil extraction is being carried out at full speed. This country is an owner of the largest stock of hydrocarbon raw materials in Latin America and it expands extracting capacities. Minsk, in its turn, is interested in diversification of the “black gold” supply and receipt of currency from its sale at world markets. In March Caracas and oil fields of Venezuela were visited by a government delegation from Belarus, headed by the State secretary of the Security Council Viktor Sheyman. “Then we made a serious work”, — responded Hugo Chavez on that visit.
Apart from oil extraction, the work is being held under the supply contract of potash fertilizers to Venezuela, dumping trucks, motor trucks, tractors from Belarus and many other things, which the growing economy of this Latin-American country needs. Presidents also came to terms to organize a large exhibition of Belarusian goods in Venezuela in the near future with a view to both Venezuelan customers and potential buyers from other Latin-American countries — Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador. Chavez told about a record growth of GDP of Venezuela and consumer boom. Belarusian industrialists listened to this information extremely attentively.
The meeting, as it often happens in such cases, was held in two stages. First of all the presidents held the meeting in the so-called restricted attendance. Then they were accompanied by delegations from both sides for negotiations in broad attendance. The program of a short visit did not foresee other minute events. The arrival of the President of Venezuela to Belarus was a part of his world tour. He flew to Minsk from Moscow, after that his way is wending to Rostov-on-Don, then — to Teheran.