Mutual interests coincide in so many directions
The World Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), Laura Tuck, recently met President Lukashenko in Minsk, to discuss details.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Laura Tuck of the World Bank
Last June, the WB Board of Directors accepted the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for Belarus for 2014-2017. Among its objectives is improved competitiveness for the country’s economy, and increased efficiency for state infrastructure. The World Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA), Laura Tuck, recently met President Lukashenko in Minsk, to discuss details.
The World Bank is the least politicised of the globe’s major international financial structures, as Mr. Lukashenko noted to Ms. Tuck. Certain factors influence its work but its activities are, on the whole, constructive. The President noted the WB’s significant contribution towards modernising Belarus’ energy sphere, as well as helping in overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster, and in constructing modern roads. Of course, roads need continual maintenance (and expansion), which brought them onto the President’s agenda; he asked that the WB might increase its funding of road projects in Belarus, noting that corresponding plans will be forthcoming.
Mr. Lukashenko emphasised, “I think you will support them; after all, the European Union, Russia and Asia are interested in this even more than Belarus. If we have such support, I guarantee that, in 3 or 4 years, our road system, especially regarding the modernisation of transport corridors, will not only be improved but will be double the size.”
Ms. Tuck confirmed her interest in co-operation, agreeing that the expansion of Belarus’ transit potential is to the benefit of other WB country-members. With difficulties in neighbouring states, it’s more important than ever to secure East-West corridors. Of course, Ukraine is to the fore in this matter. Minsk is interested in interaction in a number of directions, and Ms. Tuck sees considerable potential in Belarusian forestry, as well as our scientific, technical and industrial base. In a word, our interests coincide in many directions.
The President also recently met the State Secretary of the Union State, Grigory Rapota, looking at the work of the Union’s Council of Ministers and the Supreme State Council. Our state administrations are constantly in contact but Mr. Lukashenko noted that some questions need to be formalised at the highest level: the market situation, the embargo introduced by Russia, economic relations with the European Union, and the military-political sphere. He noted, “We should decide upon a concise agenda. I suppose that questions won’t arise, although we have none and I doubt that the administration of the Russian Federation will have any.”
Mr. Rapota informed the Chairman of the Supreme State Council that the agenda for the next session of the Union State’s Council of Ministers is now set, and that the agenda for the Supreme State Council is being prepared, with Union State development priorities made clear.