Meeting with Kaliningrad Oblast Governor Nikolai Tsukanov

    The all-round cooperation between Belarus and Kaliningrad Oblast is increasingly vibrant, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Kaliningrad Oblast Nikolai Tsukanov on 1 December.

    According to the President, starting from 2010 the bilateral trade has been on the rise. It reached almost $300 million in 2013. “But there were times when the bilateral trade made up $0.5 billion. I think we can set a task to reach the high level that we have had before. It means that we can reach this volume of bilateral trade. In my opinion, we should do our utmost to fulfill this task,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “Certain enemies of ours, including those in Russia and Belarus, say that Lukashenko wants to attach Kaliningrad Oblast to Belarus. Believe me, I do not have such plans. Since the Soviet times Belarus has always supported Kaliningrad Oblast. We have never thought that this is an alien region. Therefore, it is not important what country Kaliningrad Oblast is part of,” the head of state noted.

    “We are interested in expanding our presence in your construction industry, especially I the run-up to the year 2018 when Kaliningrad oblast will be gearing up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This is a good event which will give a nudge to the development of any region,” the President noted. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus is ready to provide assistance to Kaliningrad Oblast if necessary.

    “We have had a similar period this year when we hosted the IIHF World Championship. We know what to do and what you will have to do. You will help to renew the passenger transport fleet,” the President said. “You know that we have all that and we are ready to help you if necessary,” he added.

    Belarus is also ready to share its best practices in land reclamation with Kaliningrad Oblast. “We know that you are up to a very important challenge – to provide for yourselves and learn to trade in agricultural produce. You have realized that land reclamation is central to these efforts. This is absolutely right and I totally support and approve it,” the Belarusian head of state noted.

    The President emphasized that Belarus has amassed extensive experience in land reclamation. “There was time when we were in the same situation. We made a decision to restore all reclamation systems and conduct a great amount of reclamation works. Now we have the experience, starting from machinery and ending with the prices for various works,” the Belarusian leader said. “You can take advantage of this experience, if you want. We can help you not only with the machinery, but also with our solutions in land reclamation, because the efforts to promote agriculture in Kaliningrad Oblast will fail if land reclamation is not conducted. If reclamation is performed in the right way, you will be able to provide yourselves with foodstuffs and even sell them in any region, first of all, in the Russian Federation,” the President believes.

    The head of state emphasized that Belarus is ready to supply as many foodstuffs to Kaliningrad Oblast as it needs.

    “We are also ready to promote cooperation in the manufacturing industry. We just need to move forward without looking for excuses. There are no sanctions in fact. We just need to learn to survive and work in these conditions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.

    The participants of the meeting discussed the implementation of existing projects and the most promising ones. The Kaliningrad Oblast governor invited Belarusian companies to take part in the Kaliningrad Oblast tenders. Nikolai Tsukanov said that the region counts on Belarus’ assistance in such areas as land reclamation, industrial cooperation, construction. He also suggested working out long-term contracts for the delivery of Belarusian foodstuffs.