Partners focus on activity

Belarus ready to expand production co-operation with Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region

By Vladimir Khromov

Belarus ready to expand production co-operation with Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region

Yevgeny KuivashevOn meeting the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, Yevgeny Kuivashev, in Minsk, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko underlined the importance of collaboration with Russian regions. In his opinion, these are the foundation of relations with Russia. He admitted that Belarus-Russia interaction has experienced difficult times but liaisons with the regions have consolidated relations.

Speaking about the Sverdlovsk Region, Mr. Lukashenko stressed that this economically developed territory of Russia enjoys a high level of business, cultural and public activity, and is a reliable and promising partner of Belarus. In 2013, trade between Belarus and the Sverdlovsk Region exceeded $0.5bn. The Head of State remarked that trade has fallen slightly of late, but believes that the current visit of the Sverdlovsk Region delegation will, at the very least, recover previous trade figures.

According to the Head of State, joint projects in the energy sector, mechanical engineering and machine-tool building, science and other areas testify to mutual interest in expanding ties across all key avenues.

The Sverdlovsk Region has well-developed machine building and metallurgy industries, as well as a robust military-industrial complex and is one of the largest transport hubs. “It is a good place for creating a joint manufacturing base with Belarusian enterprises and a platform for promoting joint products to the Urals, Siberia and the Far East,” said Mr. Lukashenko.

He stressed that Belarus is ready for broad co-operation with the Sverdlovsk Region — in all spheres, but especially the supply of agricultural machinery, automobiles, road construction machinery and municipal vehicles (all familiar to residents of Russia’s Urals).

During the International Innoprom Industrial Trade Fair, held annually in Yekaterinburg, Belarus demonstrated goods by leading machine building enterprises, displaying achievements in the spheres of science and industry — including innovations from the past three years. Belarus is also ready to share its experience of processing agricultural products and is eager to supply food, as well as establishing joint ventures. “We have many contact points and share mutual interest in developing co-operation across various areas,” noted the Head of State.

He touched upon relations between Belarus and Russia in general, saying, “We don’t see ourselves in isolation from the Russian Federation: only together, only in co-operation, only by standing together, can we face any challenge, surviving and thriving. Events in our neighbouring country testify to this. Who could have thought that such things would be possible? We have ever been linked and will continue together.” Mr. Lukashenko remarked that economic foundations are the basis of Belarusian-Russian relations. “If we advance well in the trade-economic sphere, then we won’t be afraid of any rough weather,” the President is convinced.

In his turn, the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region noted that his region is eager to deepen co-operative ties with Belarusian enterprises in the machine building and energy sectors, alongside promoting the delivery of Belarusian products, which are famous for their quality. Mr. Kuivashev stressed that the Sverdlovsk Region is confident in the reliability of Belarusian partners.

The Governor presented Mr. Lukashenko with a replica of the monument recently unveiled in Yekaterinburg (early October) which honours People’s Artist of the USSR and Belarus Vladimir Mulyavin — the founder of the group Pesnyary.

“You know my attitude to this person,” noted Mr. Lukashenko. “Thanks to this Russian man who came to Belarus, we all began to speak Belarusian and sing Belarusian-language songs in Soviet times. He showed the nature of the Belarusian language and demonstrated to the world how beautifully it sounds to the ear — especially to people living in Russia. He was a truly great man, whom I revered greatly and with whom I enjoyed friendship. He made an invaluable contribution to the development of Belarusian culture. Our people admire this man who was born in your land. Such people unite nations and strengthen them.”
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