Report of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Dmitry Krutoi

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While on a working visit to Russia Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko received a report from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Dmitry Krutoi.

The President and the ambassador discussed two important topics: further work in international bodies with a focus on economic affairs in the Eurasian Economic Union and the operation of the commission on the export of Belarusian goods.

To determine the theme of the conversation, the head of state said: “First of all, we need to confer and discuss our further work in international structures. And most importantly, economic bodies. Such as the Eurasian Economic Union.”

“It is understandable how we should proceed with regard to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the rest. Fewer problems,” Aleksandr Lukashenko continued. “But economy in the Eurasian Economic Union is a very serious matter regardless of what we have already accomplished there. We talked about it yesterday. During the restricted-attendance meeting and the expanded-participation meeting [of the EAEU summit on 25 December] we discussed the problems that need to be resolved one way or another.”

The President wondered about Dmitry Krutoi’s point of view on future prospects of the work of the Eurasian Economic Union. “After all, Russia is the key priority for us here. What should we pay attention to?” the Belarusian leader wondered.

The second matter the head of state drew attention to was the work of the commission in charge of facilitating the export of Belarusian goods. It was established upon the President’s instructions with Dmitry Krutoi at the helm. “You discuss the main groups of commodities as a commission in order to avoid complaints, mutual offenses, or as a result corruption,” Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed.

The President stressed he had great hopes for the commission’s work. “It’s been virtually half a year. We can definitely sum up the results. Are there any global matters, on which decisions were made and promises were given, including to me? How is the commission doing? Since some time has passed already, how will the main areas of the commission’s work be organized next year and in the long term?” the head of state outlined the topical issues.

In addition to the concrete business agenda during the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the importance of preserving the historical memory and asked the ambassador whether Belarus’ representatives had visited the Piskaryovskoye cemetery in St. Petersburg in order to honor the memory of victims of the Siege of Leningrad. “It is necessary to lay flowers, wreaths at the Piskaryovskoye cemetery on behalf of Belarus,” the President said. “Our people fell there. Leningrad suffered exactly the way Belarus did. We always talk about it. This is why you have to go there if you haven’t already.”

In turn, Dmitry Krutoi said that this commemorative event had been the start of the day for the Belarusian delegation. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik, Ambassador of Belarus to Russia Dmitry Krutoi, and St. Petersburg Vice Governor Valery Moskalenko laid flowers at the monuments and the Eternal Flame at the Piskaryovskoye cemetery in the morning on 26 December.

This year the city celebrates the 80th anniversary since the campaign to break Leningrad’s siege was launched. 27 January 2024 will mark an anniversary of the city’s full liberation. Very serious preparations are in progress ahead of the important commemorative date. An organizing committee led by Chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko has been set up.

“It is a sacred topic for them,” the ambassador noted.

“It is for us, too. History…” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. According to the President, Belarus will be represented by high-ranking officials during the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad. Russia’s representatives have been invited to attend festivities dedicated to the 80th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation in 2024.

Apart from that, the ambassador told the President that the Belarusian delegation had also visited a monument to students of Leningrad vocational schools. Flowers were laid and a tribute was paid to the memory of the fallen compatriots.

The monument was erected during the Belarus President’s visit to St. Petersburg in 1996. History says that about 26,000 Belarusians came to Leningrad before the war to study. About half of them died during the siege and were buried at the Piskaryovskoye cemetery. Those were young people 14-16 of age. When the siege began, they joined adults to operate machine tools at enterprises, making their contribution to the fight against the enemy. “We’ve put this monument in order this year with assistance of our consulate general. We also laid flowers and paid tribute to the memory of the fallen. Those are fateful places for us,” Dmitry Krutoi said.