Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko is holding a meeting to discuss efforts to ensure the efficiency of the fuel and energy complex in the country on 6 February.
“We have gathered together to discuss a number of measures concerning the fulfillment of forecast targets and, there’s no need to conceal anything, our efforts to overcome negative trends which emerge in our economy in connection with recent events in the world and, first of all, in the relations with Russia,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “These are not only narrow issues. Everybody is aware of such issues as oil and gas deliveries, food wars, and they, unfortunately, have become habitual in recent time.”
The head of state noted that trade conflicts between the leading nations, protectionism, and even the new Chinese coronavirus influence the global economy, which means that Belarus should not turn a blind eye to the current situation.
“This is why the economic agencies of the government and the government on the whole must first of all have response plans for any possible emergency instead of rushing into action when the battle has already begun. The most important thing is to preserve peace and order in the country, economic stability and citizens’ confidence in the future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The head of state asked what the government could do to solve urgent issues, to ensure the growth of the gross domestic product, to implement budget parameters, to maintain price stability and, what is the main thing, to guarantee a gradual increase in people’s incomes. “We cannot give up on any programs, and not only because this year is the year of exams,” the President added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that disagreements on energy issues emerged with Russia, Belarus’ closest partner, once again. It has happened regularly for 13 years already in spite of mutual obligations, he said. “However, when agreements were signed we received firm guarantees. For example, Russia committed itself to import 24 million tonnes of oil (2 million tonnes of oil every month) to Belarus this year. They supplied 500,000 tonnes, only a quarter, in January. Please tell me what has been done to make sure that Russia is fulfilling its obligations,” the head of state said.
In his words, Belarus has to revise its economic development plans too often. “Therefore, I would like to know about the mechanisms of compensation for losses which our country inevitably sustains in this period through no fault of its own. Requirements are known – people in Belarus should not be affected by any consequences of any maneuvers of our partners,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
The President also wanted to listen to the proposals of the government regarding the search for alternative suppliers of energy resources and reliable delivery channels. “Once again, this time publicly, I reiterate: all oil refineries should be operational. We must ensure the demand for oil products not only on the domestic market, like we are doing now, but also fulfill our contract obligations on foreign markets, i.e. the import of oil products to Europe, Ukraine, other countries,” the head of state stressed.