Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Valery Shantsev

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Regional ties help enhance cooperation between Belarus and Russia, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod Oblast Valery Shantsev on 2 April.

“I think everyone will agree that over the years of implementing Union State agreements Belarus and Russia have made a considerable progress in political, economic and humanitarian interaction,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Nizhny Novgorod Oblast is one of the main partners of Belarus in Russia. “Our economies are similar – both Belarus and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast have well-developed car manufacturing, produce comfortable buses and reliable equipment for the public utilities system,” the Belarusian leader said.

The President was disappointed with the fact that in the complicated economic situation of 2014 the mutual trade fell by 17% from the previous year. Nevertheless, the trade turnover of about $600 million is rather high. “There was a serious reduction, therefore our main objective is to ensure positive dynamics of trade. We must find new areas of common interest, support existing cooperation ties between Belarusian and Nizhny Novgorod manufacturing enterprises, step up efforts to bolster cooperation in construction, housing and utilities industries,” the Belarusian head of state emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the Belarusian side can offer interesting projects to Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, especially in the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will take place in Russia.

Apart from the economic dimension, the two sides are vigorously developing bilateral interaction in holding exhibitions, culture, education, sport, youth policy. “I strongly hope that the authorities of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast will do their best to enhance cooperation in these and other areas of mutual interest,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Valery Shantsev is a frequent guest in Belarus. He is well aware of the Belarusian development trends. “I am convinced that this visit will help promote mutually beneficial ties between Belarus and Nizhny Novgorod Oblast. It will become an additional factor of strengthening Belarus-Russia cooperation,” the President stressed.

The governor of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, in turn, said that the cooperation with Belarus is one of the key avenues of the international and foreign economic activities of the region. “We will thoroughly analyze the reason for the decrease in bilateral trade to overcome negative trends and work out measures to ramp up trade relations,” the governor said.

Valery Shantsev emphasized that the year 2015 is special as it marks the 70th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War. In his words, this date has a huge importance for Russia and Belarus. According to the governor, it is great that Belarus reveres the courageous feat of Soviet soldiers and cherishes the memory of the heroism of the nation.