ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO MEETS PRIME MINISTER MIRKO CVETKOVIĆ DURING OFFICIAL VISIT TO SERBIA
In the past decade, the name of the country where the Serbs reside has changed twice — from Yugoslavia, it became Serbia and Montenegro, and is now the Republic of Serbia. Its foreign and domestic policy has changed greatly too, though these transformations have not affected relations with Belarus. Minsk and Belgrade have always had (and continue to have) close ties in the fields of trade and culture. The Serbs remember the assistance and support Belarus provided in hard times. In the sphere of political contacts, mutual trust and understanding rule — as confirmed by the meeting of Alexander Lukashenko and Mirko Cvetković during the Belarusian President’s official visit to this Balkan republic. In addition, Mr. Lukashenko also took some days off in Serbia.
The Belarusian President and the Serbian Prime Minister discussed bilateral trade-economic co-operation — as is natural under our conditions of global economic crisis. Last year, trade turnover approached 50 million US Dollars and, at the moment, both Belarusian and Serbian manufacturers are actively searching for new markets as a way out of the crisis. Mr. Lukashenko and Mr. Cvetković are advocating the speedy signing of an agreement on free trade by their two governments. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Serbia to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Srečko Jukić, has recently announced that this document is almost ready. Additionally, talks tackled the creation of joint production assembly for Belarusian tractors, buses, cars and other machinery. The top officials discussed the establishment of a Business Co-operation Council, uniting businessmen from the two states.
Bilateral liaisons were on the agenda and co-operative issues will be discussed further during the forthcoming visit of the Serbian Vice Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkić to Belarus. He is expected to arrive with a delegation of Serbian businessmen. In fact, Serbian and Belarusian languages have a common root and are very similar to each other. Let’s hope that the businessmen from the two states find a common language.