Report on performance of Belarus’ transport sector amid sanctions

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report on the performance of the country’s transport sector amid sanctions on 12 September.

“The topic of our discussion today is not a new one. I have invited you here to assess the work of the transport complex under sanctions and to find solutions, if necessary, to the most pressing issues. It is no secret that the transport industry is the natural conductor of foreign trade operations and brings nearly half of foreign currency earnings of export of services to the country (some 45%),” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The current situation has broken many of the long-established logistics chains. Of course, that drives up the cost of production in all industries, the President said.

“In order to profitably sell your products abroad or supply the domestic market with components we need carefully choreographed logistics. It will not get any easier, at least not in the near future. That is why it is still the daily job of the Transport and Communications Ministry to negotiate about cars, containers, throughput “passages”, and competitive tariffs. All the more so because the ministers have been tasked with increasing physical volumes and diversifying exports. Their fulfillment in some way depends on the diligence of the Transport and Communications Ministry and Belavia,” said the head of state.

“Despite the desire of the West to cut us off from the so-called civilized Europe, we continue to fly and maintain a high level of aviation safety. The strategic task is to expand air traffic routes, to enable people to fly for business, leisure, to visit their relatives and so on,” the President said.

It is also important to maintain a high level of flight safety, to continue the development of the aviation industry and keep upgrading the aircraft fleet, said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“The price of flights should be competitive and affordable for our people,” the head of state added.

There has been enough time since the restrictions were imposed to not just find all the problematic areas but also to take adequate response measures, said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “We have mirrored the ban on the movement of trucks from the EU in our territory. Now about a thousand vehicles are involved in transshipment daily. In other words, you come here, leave your cargo and trailers, and drive back home. We will take your cargo further,” the President said. 

The head of state asked to report on how the Transport and Communications Ministry was solving the tasks to increase the traffic by rail in the eastern direction. “The transport capacity should be 100%. No one however restricts you to work across all the directions,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also asked whether the logistics were optimal for the current conditions, taking into account the fact that Russia provided opportunities for the use of its ports.

“How are the interests of Belarusian road carriers respected? I gave an instruction to abolish the permit system two years ago. What measures are taken to strengthen the economic situation in the aviation industry?” the President posed a number of questions.