SOCHI, September 18. /TASS/. Russia's President Vladimir Putin is happy the problems in the global economy have not affected the cooperation between Russia and Belarus.
"This year, the dynamics of our cooperation, of course, is affected by the unfavorable global economic situation, though the trade flows have not decreased," he told the Forum of Russian and Belarusian regions on Friday. "If calculated in dollars, the decline is big, but in rubles — we have a growth."
Putin called Belarus "Russia’s strategic counterpart and closest ally."
"The Russian-Belarusian cooperation is of diversified, overwhelming character and it develops gradually in all directions," he said. "Russia takes the first position among economic counterparts of Belarus — we take about a half of the entire Belarusian trade."
The two countries "are capable of bringing trade back to the growth trend."
"To a big extent, this will be due to large investment projects," Putin said adding "Belarus has gained $6.3 billion in Russian capital — 40% of all the Russian investments in the CIS."
Putin also spoke about over 3,500 joint ventures in all sectors of the economy, and 40 programmes in the framework of the Union State.
"This year, financing of the Union State’s budget remains at the full level of 4.8 billion roubles," the Russian president said.
"Jointly with the Belarusian counterparts we have managed to put together a reliable infrastructure of cooperation, where cooperation between regions is a part of it," Putin said.