Belarus is prepared to participate in infrastructure projects and government programs in Russia's Yaroslavl Oblast, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Yaroslavl Oblast Dmitry Mironov in Minsk on 12 April.
Alexander Lukashenko warmly welcomed the delegation and the governor of Yaroslavl Oblast of Russia. “The good event we held yesterday (a friendly match between the hockey team of the President of Belarus and the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv) and the upcoming talks will serve as a good incentive to intensify the bilateral cooperation,” the President said.
“Belarus is prepared to participate in infrastructure projects, government programs in your region. We are open to dialogue on all issues that are of interest to you and are ready for a substantive conversation on all fronts,” the head of state said.
“Your region is largely similar to Belarus in terms of the structure of the economy. It has always been an important trading partner. The Belarusian engineering companies maintain business contacts with engines manufacturers from Yaroslavl. We have created technological chains in machine building, petrochemical and other industries. The industrial cooperation of our enterprises is mutually beneficial. We look forward to your continued support for joint ventures and are prepared to participate in Russian regional programs,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
Following the world trends, Yaroslavl Oblast is planning to convert the passenger fleet to use gas motor fuel. Belarus’ experience may be useful here. “Last year we did a lot in this regard, especially in Moscow, Samara. The orders keep coming in. So if you have the desire and opportunity, you are welcome to join this project,” the President said.
He drew attention to Belarus’ capacities in the manufacture of trucks, road, passenger and utility vehicles and construction equipment. “We are ready to set up joint ventures in your region and are ready to supply equipment to your region,” the President said.
Belarus is also ready to join the agricultural development program in Yaroslavl Oblast. “I know that you are doing a lot in the area. Our achievements in cattle breeding, plant cultivation and product processing merit attention. We have studied the world’s best practices and found a lot of useful things,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko took note of the plans to set up a cheese cluster in Yaroslavl Oblast. The Belarusian experience can be used in the project as well. “Belarusian products are very popular with Russian consumers. If there is a need, we are ready to increase supplies,” the President said.
According to the Belarusian head of state, Belarus and Yaroslavl Oblast have a long history of mutual relations. Many Belarusians found shelter in Yaroslavl region during the First World War. “Poet Maksim Bogdanovich spent a big part of his life in Yaroslavl where he is still well remembered. A sports center was opened in the Nekrasovskoye village to commemorate the ice hockey players and coaching staff of HC Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Belarusian citizens were also among the victims of that terrible air crash,” the Belarusian leader said.
Dmitry Mironov agreed that there is a need to make the bilateral economic ties closer and more active. “We are very happy to visit Minsk. I am confident that the visit will contribute to the strengthening of our traditional relations,” he said.
The governor stressed that since the Soviet times Yaroslavl Oblast has been a partner of Belarus in a number of important projects. Yaroslavl and Minsk maintain close contacts in higher education and culture.
“Yaroslavl people remember your visit to Yaroslavl Oblast. The visit gave an additional impetus to the strengthening of the union between Belarus and Russia. Yaroslavl will always remember the memorial ceremony held by HC Dinamo Minsk with your participation following the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy,” Dmitry Mironov said.