Aleksandr Lukashenko makes working trip to Minsk Oblast

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The Belarusian potash industry should accurately respond to existing market trends. Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he visited OAO Belaruskali on 19 June.

“As far as I can understand our competitors in the world are getting worried. They already suggest we should embrace them. But we cannot lose tactics-wise. If they lose to us, they may come and say so. And we will base our policy on that,” the head of state remarked.

“If we can reach global supply volumes, let us make arrangements. If we cannot, then we should not sign any agreements with Uralkali or anyone else,” the President said.

“Everything must serve our interests. Personal ambitions are out of the question. Everything has to be accurate,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “Do not flood the market with cheap potash because we will lose money if you do. It is necessary to respond to market trends in a very careful and accurate manner,” he added.

The President was informed about the financial and economic performance of OAO Belaruskali, the current state of affairs on the global market of potash fertilizers, prospects of the company’s development, problem issues and ways to resolve them, the fulfillment of previous instructions.

The head of state was told that Belarus had a record high output and export of potash fertilizers in 2014. The country has sold over 4 million tonnes of potash fertilizers this year. The enterprise has signed contracts for July and is developing an action plan for August. The Belarusian side delivers potash fertilizers to Brazil, China, South East Asia, and has been working to increase export to European countries. It views Africa as a very promising partner. As for the tendencies on the global market of potash fertilizers, the demand and prices are on the rise.

The President was also informed about the implementation of investment projects at OAO Belaruskali. In particular, in September 2014 the company intends to commission a chemical factory for the deep processing of chloride-containing minerals. Apart from that, the construction of the Petrikov mining and processing factory is underway.

The head of state was made familiar with the operation scheme at the Krasnoslobodsky mine and looked at how the process was organized. Aleksandr Lukashenko also visited the facility to produce complex NPK fertilizers. Products of the plant are popular on the market. Virtually all complex fertilizers are exported.

During the visit to the enterprise Aleksandr Lukashenko asked Minsk Oblast Governor Semyon Shapiro about the progress in the spring sowing campaign and the development of Soligorsk. The President emphasized that croplands cannot be used for the housing construction in the town. Soligorsk should focus on the establishment of satellite towns, promote construction in neighboring villages.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also met with workers of OAO Belaruskali and answered the questions of local mass media representatives. The head of state touched upon the performance of the company and development prospects of the potash industry. In his words, prices for potash products have been stabilized at a certain level and are even starting to grow. “Certainly, it is good for the state and for the individual enterprise. Leading companies already invite us to work together. I ask them where they were last year. Uralkali asks us to join efforts already,” the President said. He mentioned a meeting with Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OAO United Chemical Company Uralchem.

“Naturally, private business sees its own profits. I tell them directly not to bring bribes here because we will pursue our own national interests. Three months later they are even more insistent on coming to us. They are nearly crawling on their knees. For now we can do without them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

The President expressed confidence that any state that consumes potash products such as India, China, Brazil, and other countries prefers cooperation with state-run companies because it gives certain guarantees.

Speaking about the situation on the potash market, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that earlier and during the recent conflict a lot of work and struggle was needed to defend the interests of the state and the specific enterprise. “They were trying to put us on our knees and buy with and without bribes. They did everything and we did not hide it from people,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that his first meeting with the personnel of Belaruskali took place 20 years ago in difficult times. “Back then I promised to you that if I became the president, I would never betray interests of miners and your enterprise as well as many other ones would work in the interests of the country and we would always support it. I think 20 years down the road you have nothing to reproach me for. We do everything in order to keep things honest on the domestic market and abroad,” the Belarusian leader underlined.

According to the head of state, at present the competition on the market of potash fertilizers is extremely high and it is very complicated to work on the market. It is also confirmed by the market slump after the conflict with Uralkali. Not only the Belarusian side but many other international manufacturers were affected. “It was difficult for us. There were many proposals suggesting giving away and selling things. I told them no, we will do it on our own,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

The President emphasized that in current conditions thanks to the work that had been done they had managed to successfully tackle the main competitors and even expand the available markets. “The prices may be somewhat lower but this year’s volumes will beat records. We have never sold as much as we will sell this year,” the head of state said.

The President said that productive efforts of the potash company to promote goods on the global market can be an example for other big companies of Belarus.

“In the near future we will reshuffle personnel: from the government to directors of big enterprises which ensure the wellbeing of our country if we do not see adequate results,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the issue has been recently discussed at the session of the Security Council. “I told them if there are no results they will be dismissed,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“In the most difficult conditions Belaruskali showed how to work on international markets. Why cannot BelAZ, MTZ, MAZ do the same? They can! Perhaps, they do not want to or are exhausted,” the President added.