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Call for measures to reverse negative trends in Belarus-Kazakhstan trade, economic relations

ASTANA (BelTA) – Belarus and Kazakhstan should take measures to overcome negative trends in trade and economic cooperation. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on 30 May, BelTA has learned.

The Belarusian head of state said: “Our meeting is very important. Due to the situation on international markets, in neighboring Russia and Ukraine — our main partners — the situation is not so simple in Belarus and Kazakhstan. Our trustful and friendly discussions have always been beneficial. I think we will agree today how we are going to recover from this situation.”

In his words, the sides have not been able to reverse the falling mutual trade trend yet. “For now we've been unable to reverse the process but we should do it. We are close and friendly countries in the same economic union. We definitely should tighten up the foundation of our relations — trade and economy. Moreover, in the past you and I determined the avenues we should move along and we've done a lot in this regard,” noted Alexander Lukashenko. “But we need some new breath of air. Today no matter how difficult it can be, we should give the relevant instructions to the governments and give a nudge to our relations in order to get out of this situation faster.”

Speaking about international agenda, the Belarus President stated that the two countries had totally concurrent views. “We support you in the UN on the global document — the manifest you have put forward. There are absolutely no questions about that,” said Andrei Kobyakov.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that negotiations on advancing R&D cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan were underway. “I think we will come to terms on the timing of your visit [to Belarus],” added the Belarusian leader. “There is a great deal of avenues to explore and we are ready to work with the Kazakh side.”

In turn, Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that close allied relations have evolved between Belarus and Kazakhstan. A lot of joint ventures have been established in the last few years thanks to joint efforts.

The Kazakhstan President noted that while the mutual trade is falling in financial terms, the volume in natural terms is still strong. “A crisis cannot last forever,” said Nursultan Nazarbayev. “We are now working on further strategic cooperation.”