Solid foundation from which to serve new aspirations and projects
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko meets Indian Parliamentary Speaker Meira Kumar, noting the importance of good relations
By Vasily Kharitonov
“India is a huge nation: one of the richest and a leading country worldwide. Relations with India are very important to us,” asserted the Head of State. Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that our bilateral relations boast a long history and, in recent years, have significantly intensified. Diplomatic relations between Belarus and India recently celebrated their 20th anniversary; of course, interaction was also prominent in Soviet times, so we enjoy long-term friendship. Nevertheless, since independence, many spheres have had to be reignited from scratch. We have achieved trust over a short period of time, greatly assisted by the political will of the leadership of Belarus and India. Moreover, foundations have been laid for future work, as seen from the meeting between the President and Ms. Kumar.
Speaking of trade-economic collaboration, the President noted that the current turnover of $0.5bn can certainly be improved upon. “I believe that we need to raise our goals, shifting from simple trade turnover to co-operative ties, setting up joint enterprises here and in India, and strengthening our trade-economic relations,” said the Belarusian leader.
As far as policy and diplomacy are concerned, Mr. Lukashenko sees no obstacles. He thanked India for its stance within international organisations, noting, “We highly appreciate this. We’ll always support India, since it has never failed to assist Belarus.” Mr. Lukashenko emphasised that Belarus and India have a good basis for collaboration and that he views Ms. Kumar’s visit as evidence of readiness to further develop our bilateral relationship.
Ms. Kumar passed on the best wishes of the Indian President, the Prime Minister and Indian people, adding, “Belarus and India have traditionally maintained warm-hearted, friendly relations.” In recent years, she believes our states have managed to improve bilateral trade-economic co-operation.
A treaty on a free zone trade between the Customs Union and India was on the agenda between Belarus’ Prime Minister, Mikhail Myasnikovich, and Ms. Kumar. He explained, “We’re building very good, equal and trustworthy relations with your country and we value these greatly. We’re glad to see your successes in the social, economic and cultural development of your country and are aware of the great role played by Parliament and, particularly, the House of the People.” He hopes that the decisions adopted in the Indian Parliament reinforce Belarusian-Indian relations.
Moreover, Mr. Myasnikovich expressed confidence that Belarus and India are shifting from trade collaboration to investment interaction, as several joint innovative projects have already appeared. Our two states boast significant potential in this area and the solution of several issues will enable our economic partnership to become even more efficient.