Agriculture, food, construction, timber processing — these and other areas of cooperation were in the spotlight during the meeting of the President of Belarus with the Head of the Republic of Tuva Vladislav Khovalyg
Aleksandr Lukashenko is sure of good prospects for working with Tuva, “I am convinced that your visit is a landmark event that will allow us to open new horizons of cooperation together, and this must be done in the name of our fraternal peoples... We must lay a strong foundation for our cooperation.”
The President drew attention to the fact that the indicators of foreign trade between Belarus and the Republic of Tuva are modest for various reasons, but the potential is significant, “There is some room for growth. There is something to work on.
I am convinced that the potential is huge, we only need our desire to make our aspirations come to life. And we are (just like you, I believe) are ready to multiply our trading volume in the near future.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that the Belarusian side is ready to promptly take any decisions necessary for the development of cooperation.
According to the President, taking into account the needs of the Republic of Tuva and the industrial potential of Belarus, it makes sense to pay special attention to engineering products, “You know the level of our engineering industry. You can visit any enterprise.
The doors of any enterprise are open for you: be it a defence (military-industrial complex), agricultural, or any industrial enterprise. We have no secrets from you.”
The President drew attention to the fact that he quite often discusses the prospects for the development of industrial cooperation, technology transfer, and export of services with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In these areas, we can also cooperate with Tuva. Particularly in food production.
According to the Head of State, several facilities in the Russian Federation are currently being considered, the construction of which may involve large Belarusian enterprises. Tuva is also invited to take a closer look at this experience. The President said,
“I know that in 2021, the construction of the Ak-Sug Mining and Processing Plant began in your region. Our specialists could help you create the appropriate transport infrastructure if you need it.”
The President noted the uniqueness of nature in Tuva, “This suggests that we should, simply must develop tourism between Belarus and Tuva. Tourist relations leave much to be desired.”
The Head of State continued, “I am convinced that there are great opportunities for strengthening our friendship and cooperation in science, education, culture, and the information sphere. Of course, we need to talk more about Tuva, so that we know not only from Russian channels that there is such a beauty, but also that you are present in Belarus, and Belarus is present in your information space.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated the guests on the approaching New Year according to the lunar calendar, which will begin on February 2nd. The holiday is called Shagaa and is widely celebrated in Tuva.
A reliable partner
Vladislav Khovalyg warmly thanked the President for the opportunity to meet and noted that he had been heading Tuva for just over three months. The country is developing several promising areas right now, as well as searching for reliable partners. Belarusian enterprises are already showing a certain interest in the region and are planning to implement various projects there.
The Head of Tuva told Aleksandr Lukashenko about one of the youngest regions of Russia. In the past, the republic went from a Manchurian colony to a protectorate of the Russian Empire, it was also an independent state (Tuva People’s Republic). By the way, it was Tuva that became the first foreign ally of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. Vladislav Khovalyg added that those events connect Tuvans and Belarusians, “We know how carefully the memory of the Great Patriotic War is treated in Belarus, we also preserve the sacred pages of this history. Both Tuvans and Soviet citizens who lived at that time in Tuva participated in this war. Some of them travelled the roads of the war to Berlin. The war connected us with Belarus as well.”
Later, Vladislav Khovalyg talked to Belarusian journalists and shared the results of the meeting,
“We definitely agreed that a dairy farm with at least 200 livestock will be built in the territory of the republic.”
The complex will be fully equipped, moreover, animals for the farm will be delivered here from Belarus. The leadership of Tuva hopes to subsequently replicate this experience throughout the republic. The agricultural sector is extremely important for the region. Tuva is an agrarian republic, however, in the structure of the agro-industrial complex, personal subsidiary farms occupy a significant share (about 80 percent). The republic fully provides itself with meat, but it needs dairy products. Vladislav Khovalyg said,
“We agreed that the Belarusian side will help in the construction of dairy farms with equipment. We would like to completely meet our needs for milk and dairy products by creating our own base. You have a lot of experience.”
There are promising areas of cooperation in other areas as well. Thus, for the extractive industry, quarry equipment is needed. Mining enterprises in Tuva are located in the taiga wooded part, so roads need to be built here, which means that road equipment will also be required. The leadership of the republic is also ready to consider, together with investors, the participation of Belarusian companies in the construction of the mining and processing plant.