MINSK, October 11 (Itar-Tass) — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday his country’s foreign policy priority is stronger relations with Russia and its regions.
“Russia is the priority of our foreign policy. We are building the Union State with it, therefore contacts with Russian regions are very important for us,” he said at the meeting with the Novgorod region governor, Sergei Mitin.
Lukashenko underlined that Belarus and Russia have reached tangible progress in the creation of a common customs and humanitarian space.
“In fact, we have a single country as concerns defence and the fight against crime. But the main thing is that through joint efforts we are creating conditions for both Russian and Belarusian citizens to feel like home staying at each other’s country,” he said.
The Belarusian president noted that special hopes are pinned on a common economic space. “Close and fruitful high-level dialogue contributes to success of our undertakings,” he said adding that at present, the two countries have absolutely no problems.
The Novgorod region is one of Belarus’ most important trading partners, he said. “Under the current conditions of global financial and economic instability and aggravation of international competition it is necessary to tap the whole potential of our economies’ complementarity,” Lukashenko said.
He stressed the need for bringing bilateral contacts to a new level and not to be limited by simple trade operations. Joint projects based on the unification of resource, production, research and technological potentials could give good feedback.
Mitin briefed on the talks in the Belarusian government that took place on Monday and focused on the state of and prospects for trade and economic cooperation, including that in the forestry, agricultural, manufacturing, peat developing and agricultural sectors.