Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai Vyacheslav Shport
Belarus needs to boost cooperation with Khabarovsk Krai of Russia, President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Khabarovsk Krai Vyacheslav Shport in Minsk on 21 July.
"Your region is going through difficult times in the wake of the floods last year. It will be hard to overcome these nature-caused hardships. Please rest assured that we will do our best to support you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in modern times the geographical distance is not an obstacle to cooperation. However, this year the bilateral trade between Belarus and Khabarovsk Krai has decreased. "But everything is in our hands. We have enough time to achieve last year's level and exceed it," the President emphasized.
The head of state assured that he is ready to consider any offers and the issues of the development of bilateral ties. "We know each other's capabilities. We share a mutual interest in each other. Out economies are complementary, and this is the basis of cooperation,” the president noted.
At the meeting the sides discussed the possibility to expand cooperation in the defense sector, including Belarus’ participation in the operation of the aviation and ship building cluster in Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai. In particular, there are plans to enhance cooperation with Aviation Repair Plant in Baranovichi. “Indeed, this is a very decent plant. More than that, it is switching from simple aircraft repair works to the production of some component parts for aircraft. I have recently toured this plant and set the task to start producing some machinery alongside with the repair business. However, it does not make economic sense to do it on our own – and it would be very hard to do it – but we could establish closer ties with Russia in this regard,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President emphasized that direct contacts between Russian regions and Belarus have always been the basis for the bilateral cooperation.
“We should rely, first of all, on ourselves, on our internal reserves. We have a huge market. We can do a lot, but we should mostly rely on our own selves. They respect the strong, not the weak. Our strength is economy and, of course, defense. Therefore, we are ready to unite efforts with you,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
“The sooner we realize that no one will help us and that they will only cooperate with us in order to take away something from us, the faster we become self-sustaining. We are able to do it,” the head of state is convinced.