Aleksandr Lukashenko hears out report from Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich

    Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report from Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich on 25 November.

    The meeting touched upon current and future matters of the country’s economic development. The head of government informed the President about results of the working visit to Turkmenistan and the session of the CIS Heads of Government Council in Saint Petersburg.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said the meeting on 25 November was going to touch upon only general results of the social and economic development and plans for the next year because these matters will soon have to be discussed at the presidential level in more detail and these matters were being run past both the government and the parliament.

    The President underlined that he was primarily interested in current affairs, which are very important, in particular, the operation of Belarusian Potash Company. “I receive reports that we have generally recovered from the state of affairs that we have inherited from Russians. And this year we will get over $2 billion in revenues from selling potash fertilizers alone,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. According to the head of state, it is quite a good result particularly taking into account the fact that the situation on the potash fertilizers market is far from being simple.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also remarked that there were several matters concerning legislation, namely the management of privatized companies. In particular, it is necessary to think about how the state should influence them on behalf of minority shareholders, which own too few shares to directly participate in the management of the company. The head of state drew attention to certain difficulties due to the fact that interests of minority shareholders are insufficiently protected in the joint-stock companies that have been created via privatization and without a state share.

    “I am ready to hear out your views. But I have to tell you right away that we should bear interests of people in mind, first of all. The state should not have to do some extra functions if an enterprise has been sold but we just have to safeguard people’s interests,” stressed the President. “We must protect people’s interests. If an enterprise was run by the state but now it is privatized and some of the shares are owned by minority shareholders, then who votes for them? No one does. And those, who own less, enjoy the free reign. Examples are abundant. Therefore, a decision has to be made on this issue and I would like to know what point of view the government has arrived at”.

    The head of state said that the government should take a closer look at which enterprises are affected, how bad it is, and everything should be resolved taking into account modern requirements but, first and foremost, interests of the workers and small shareholders”.

    Speaking about Turkmenistan, Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about the agreement with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow — during the visit of the Belarus government delegation all the existing issues will be settled, particularly those concerning the Garlyk mining and processing factory.

    The Prime Minister informed the President about the implementation of Belarusian-Turkmen projects, including the invigoration of the project to build the Garlyk mining and processing factory by Belarusian companies. The necessary surface facilities are supposed to be ready in January 2014. The number includes warehouses, access railroads, and electrical lines. The construction of underground facilities of the factory was also discussed. The commissioning of the manufacturing capacities had been agreed with the Turkmenistan President. The Belarusian head of government underlined that Belarus intends to expand cooperation with Turkmenistan in line with top-level agreements, create joint ventures, and trade together in third-country markets.

    Mikhail Myasnikovich also informed the President about some matters, which concern the development of cooperation with Russia in 2014 and which were discussed in Saint Petersburg during the meeting with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev. Vehicle recycling tax was mentioned. “We have decided that it will be done in a controllable and transparent manner. No additional hindrances to the access of our vehicles to the Russian Federation market will be created,” noted the head of government. According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, they had also discussed matters concerning oil deliveries, the fulfillment of obligations to the Anticrisis Fund. Most of the topics will be discussed at the session of the Union State Council of Ministers, which is supposed to take place on the eve of the session of the Union State Supreme State Council.

    The meeting also touched upon other current economic affairs.