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Lukashenko to Pskov Oblast governor: Economic progress relies on good relations

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to develop cooperation with Pskov Oblast not only for money interests but also for the spiritual closeness between people, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's Pskov Oblast Mikhail Vedernikov on 28 September, BelTA has learned.

“You are good neighbors, we are always happy to see you here. We will always know that you are a good neighbor, you are close people. And we will cooperate with you not only for money interests, mercenary interests. It is a natural thing, it will has always existed and will always exist by, this is not the main aspect in relations with us. If there are kind and sincere relations, if people living on both sides of the provisional border are close, the economic dimension will be developed too. The economy will be developed, if people are committed to it with their hearts and souls,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“You are a frequent guest here. Please come more often,” the president said. “You do not need visas, aircraft, permissions to cross the border. There cannot be any prohibitions for people from Pskov Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, Bryansk Oblast. Even if someone installs a barbed wire between our states on the border, our people will still find corresponding passes to Belarus and to Russia. And this is great. I think it will never happen.”

The head of state remarked that the Pskov Oblast administration is aware of Belarus' capabilities. The republic is ready to develop cooperation across the board. “You are also close to us because we know your lands: our Vitebsk Oblast is the same. It is good that you cooperate with Vitebsk Oblast. If you lack something, if there is not enough movement on our behalf, please tell us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian side can offer a wide range of automobile equipment and elevators, agricultural products and technologies to Pskov Oblast.

Mikhail Vedernikov, in turn, said that Belarus and Pskov Oblast maintain longstanding and good-neighborly relations. In his opinion, it is essential to give a new impetus to economic development. “Belarus is our key foreign economic and trade partner. Belarus accounts for 35% of our trade turnover. We have built solid mutually beneficial cooperation in many areas. First of all, in machine-building, transport, agribusiness. Our enterprises actively purchase Belarusian equipment: agricultural and road construction equipment, passenger buses, boilers. Our trade turnover has decreased by almost 20% this year due to the global epidemiological situation. That is why our visit is even more important,” the governor said.