Meeting with Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Drozdenko

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko suggests that Belarus and Russia’s Leningrad Oblast should start a breakthrough in trade cooperation with agriculture, civil engineering and mechanical engineering. The head of state made the relevant statement as he met with Leningrad Oblast Governor Alexander Drozdenko on 23 November.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Leningrad Oblast is a traditional key trade and economic partner of Belarus among regions of the Russian Federation. He reminded that a meeting with Alexander Drozdenko three years before had greatly contributed to the stable growth of trade turnover, which exceeded $0.5 billion in 2014. Nowadays Belarus-Leningrad Oblast trade is declining, stated Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“This is why we are interested in reversing the trend and securing an essential breakthrough. We should begin with traditional avenues of bilateral cooperation such as agriculture, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering products,” the President was convinced.

Belarusian agricultural machines enjoy a good reputation in Russia. In particular, Minsk-made tractors account for nearly half of Leningrad Oblast’s tractor stock. “We are ready to supply more as part of your efforts to help farmers buy machines at the expense of your budget if necessary,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

In turn, Belarusian agrarians are interested in establishing permanent ties with dairy cattle pedigree farms of Leningrad Oblast. The President pointed out that there are things worth learning in Leningrad Oblast, which has always been a flagship in these matters. “Modernizing Belarusian agriculture, we relied on your experience among other things and bought a lot of pedigree cattle from you,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Belarusian scientists can share their extensive experience in the area of plant husbandry, selection and seed farming with regard to potatoes, cereals, leguminous crops, continued Aleksandr Lukashenko. Good prospects are opening up in the civil engineering industry. The Belarusian construction materials manufacturers Krasnoselskstroymaterialy and Krichevcementnoshifer are ready to export cement. Keramin is ready to supply ceramic tiles while Gomelglass can supply polished glass. “Our construction companies offer their services for implementing Leningrad Oblast programs from the designing stage to commissioning turn-key facilities,” added Aleksandr Lukashenko. He mentioned shipments of Belarusian passenger vehicles, cargo vehicles, municipal vehicles, road construction machines and other ones as another important avenue of cooperation.

The President stressed that Belarus has good experience of cooperation with Saint Petersburg, which is switching to MAZ buses powered by gas engine fuel. “Taking into account prospects of construction of automobile gas-filling compressor stations in Leningrad Oblast in cooperation with Belarus essential opportunities are opening up in this sphere,” believes Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to the head of state, now is the most convenient time for reviewing avenues of cooperation between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast. “We have made absolutely correct strategic decisions. They produce results. But in changing conditions, particularly as of late, we should have another look at our mutual relations,” concluded Aleksandr Lukashenko.