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Zelensky comes to Zhitomir airport to welcome Belarus president

ZHITOMIR (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has arrived in Zhitomir for a working visit. The Belarusian head of state is expected to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and take part in a plenary session of the 2nd Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine, BelTA has learned.

Volodymyr Zelensky came to the Zhitomir airport to meet and greet the Belarusian head of state in person.

The talks of the presidents will take place in the building of the Zhitomir Oblast State Administration. The two leaders will have a detailed discussion of the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation and share views on the topical issues of the regional and international agenda.

After the talks, the two presidents will speak at a plenary session of the 2nd Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine. An exposition of large-size machines made by Belarusian and Ukrainian companies is located in close vicinity to the venue of the forum. The products on display include the machinery made by joint ventures. The presidents might want to have a look at the exposition.

While meeting with representatives of Ukrainian mass media on 26 September Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the forum is of great significance not only for the two countries, but also for him personally. He recalled that two years ago the government of Ukraine upheld this idea and a year later the forum debuted in Gomel. “The results were not long in coming. Such events help build important interregional ties, first of all, in trade and economy,” the head of state said.

In 2018 Belarus-Ukraine trade reached $5.5 billion, up 19.2% over 2017. Export stood at $4.1 billion, up 20.8%, and import at $1.4 billion, up 14.8%. In January-August 2019, bilateral trade totaled $3.8 billion, which is up 4% year on year. Belarusian exports declined slightly (0.7%) and amounted to $2.7 billion. Ukrainian exports to Belarus grew by 17.5% and amounted to $1.1 billion.