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MINSK, October 13. /TASS/. Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has said the people of his country by no means consider themselves and their own future separately from Russia.
“If we resist all sorts of threats together, we shall be able to stand firm,” Lukashenko said at a meeting with the visiting governor of Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region, Yevgeny Kuyvashev. “The events in one of our neighbouring countries are clear evidence of that. Who has ever been able to think that such things may become possible?”
He expressed the certainty that Belarus and Russia would stay together and their economies provided a firm basis for that.
“If we move on normally in the trading and economic sphere, no storms and turmoil will be able to scare us,” Lukashenko said.
He pointed to the importance of cooperation with Russian regions.
“This is the basis of our cooperation,” he said, adding that when Belarussian-Russian relations had harder times than today it was cooperation with Russian regions that proved a lifeline.
We are prepared to cooperate with the Sverdlovsk Region in all directions. We are interested in both commodity supplies and the creation of joint ventures,” Lukashenko said.
He recalled that last year trade with that region of Russia was above half a billion dollars. At the same time Lukashenko acknowledged a certain decline, adding that it was not normal.
“We are prepared to supply farm machinery, motor vehicles, road-building machines and utility vehicles to that region,” Lukashenko said. In particular, he emphasized cooperation in farming. Belarus, he said was prepared to share its experience of processing farm produce and to supply foodstuffs to the Sverdlovsk Region.