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MINSK, May 29 (Itar-Tass) — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that interaction of his country with Russian regions is in the focus of bilateral relations.
“Closer interaction with Russian regions is one of our top priorities, as well as it is an integral part of Russian-Belarusian relations and the basis of bilateral trade and economic cooperation,” Lukashenko said during Tuesday’s meeting with Governor of Russia’s Novosibirsk region Vasily Yurchenko.
“When the relations were not easy at the high level, interregional cooperation made it possible to keep good contacts,” Lukashenko said, adding, “With this in mind, we pin great importance on their stepping up.”
In his words, the Novosibirsk region is one of the key trade partners of Belarus among the regions of Russia’s Siberia, the Urals and Far East. “Owing to joint efforts, mutual trade increased by 1.7 times in 2011, as compared to the preceding year, and exceeded 200 million U.S. dollars,” the president said, pointing to the continuing upward dynamics of the current year.
In his words, supplies of the machine building products create the biggest share of Belarus’ export to the Novosibirsk region. Belarusian enterprises are ready to continue their supplies of cargo vehicles, passenger transport units and agricultural machinery to this Russian region, Lukashenko said.
Besides, he now sees no future for the ordinary good-exchange operations. “Currently, the key task is to raise the cooperation between the two countries to the new level,” he said, adding, “This means stepping up of bilateral projects, which will use common resources, industrial, scientific and technical potential. The projects should be aimed at the manufacturing of high-tech products, which will be competitive on the markets of third countries,” Lukashenko said.
He is confident that “with the formation of the Customs Union and the start-up of the Common Economic Space we obtained favourable conditions for the economic integration.”
Lukashenko pointed especially to the contacts of Belarusian scientists with their counterparts from the Novosibirsk Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“We consider you as a reliable and promising partner. We are ready to discuss promptly your every proposal pertaining to the intensification of trade and economic relations,” Lukashenko said. In his words, he sees Russia’s growing interest in Belarus and lauds this fact.
The Novosibirsk governor, in turn, stated that considers relations with Belarus as strategic. In his words, a very comprehensive program is expected to be implemented during his current visit to the republic. “I am convinced that the current visit will give a fresh impetus to the stepping up of closer relations,” Yurchenko said, pointing to the importance to use fuller the existing potential of trade and economic relations.