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Belarus' PM stresses importance of ties with Russian regions

MINSK (BelTA) – Building mutually beneficial partnerships with Russian regions is very important to Belarus, Belarus Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said as he met with Russia's Primorsky Krai Governor Oleg Kozhemyako in Minsk on 21 September, BelTA has learned.

“Your visit is very important to us in this difficult time. You know that since the election campaign Belarus has faced unprecedented external pressure. We have seen constant attempts to interfere in our domestic affairs and to destabilize the situation in the country, throwing it into chaos. This is the aim of Belarus' opponents. Friends' support is particularly important in this situation,” the prime minister noted.

Roman Golovchenko stressed the value of the Belarusian-Russian relations. “They mean a lot to us. We continue strengthening bilateral ties. At the beginning of September, Russia Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin came to Minsk and we discussed the current state of affairs in the bilateral relations, first of all, the economic relations, and looked into ways to step up cooperation,” he noted. He pointed out that the Belarusian and Russian presidents met in Sochi last week. The presidents stressed the need to advance regional cooperation and to intensify direct contacts between enterprises and organizations. “The leaders of our countries agreed to enhance cooperation between Belarus and regions of the Russian Federation, because they form the basis for economic relations. Russia is a huge country in terms of both territory and population, so it is important for us to build mutually beneficial partnership and friendly relations with Russian regions,” Roman Golovchenko said.

According to him, Primorsky Krai is one of Belarus'key partners in the Far Eastern Federal District of Russia. “Our trade rose by 8.4% in 2019 and surged by 17.7% in January-June 2020. I believe that we should continue moving forward, because we have opportunities and resources to reinforce this positive trend, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Primorsky Krai is rich in minerals and natural resources, this is why we are proud that we contribute to its industrial and investment development despite the geographical distance. We should step up work to establish trade links between enterprises. Another promising area is environmental cooperation,” he added.

Primorsky Krai Governor Oleg Kozhemyako also stressed the importance of cooperation with Belarus. “Around 30% of Primorsky Krai's population has Belarusian ancestry. The relations with Belarus are based on certain history and most of the population supported our visit here. Belarusian mechanical engineering and agricultural products are well-known and respected in the Far East. This is why we are keen to cooperate with Belarus and import Belarusian consumer goods. I believe that our trade relations have a great growth potential,” the governor said.