Meeting with World Bank's Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Laura Tuck
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has suggested that the World Bank expand financing of road construction projects in Belarus. The matter was discussed at the meeting between the Belarusian head of state and the World Bank's Vice President for Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Laura Tuck on 16 September.
“I earnestly ask the World Bank to provide additional resources for road construction projects in Belarus as part of additional financing envisaged for this year and the next year,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarusian specialists will submit plans and projects, including those on road construction, to the World Bank. “I think you will support them. After all, the European Union and Russia are interested in it even more than Belarus,” the President said.
“If we get this support, I guarantee that in three to four years the road network, in particular upgraded transport corridors, will be improved and will be twice as big,” the Belarusian head of state assured.
The President noted that the World Bank provides huge support for Belarusian road construction projects. “The World Bank understands that Belarus is a transit state and that the efficiency of the economies of the East and West largely depends on the quality of Belarusian roads,” the President said. He noted that the country passed several big-budget programs for this year and the next year. “The World Bank promised that the financing of these programs might be increased even more. Belarus is the most attractive transit country, as other neighboring transit states between Europe and the East are going through hard times, especially Ukraine,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. He added that Belarus adopted additional measures to construct and upgrade the existing transport corridors between Europe and Asia.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus would also appreciate the support for its other programs.
The President thanked the World Bank for its assistance and the assessment of the country in the annual World Bank report. “I will tell you honestly: we are not trying to please everyone in the world, however it would be great if the World Bank likes us,” the Belarusian leader said.
“The World Bank might be affected by some political factors. However, without a doubt, the World Bank is the least politicized financial and economic institute. Our joint projects and programs are a testimony to that,” the Belarusian head of state said.
The President noted that the World Bank was very supportive of Belarus’ projects to upgrade the country’s energy sector. This enabled Belarus to considerably boost its energy efficiency and overcome the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. “It seems like no one helps us more than the World Bank,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that “Belarus will return the favor”.