Meeting with Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip
Belarus and Moldova should explore new cooperation opportunities and increase bilateral trade to $500 million, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip on 1 November.
“You have an opportunity to take another look at Belarus and to see where we underperform – it is very important from the government’s point of view. You might as well find new avenues of cooperation. You can find them if Moldova is interested in it. We will always be receptive to your proposals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that in order to promote economic contacts more efficiently, the two countries need to determine specific projects or areas of common interest and implement them step by step. “We have been cooperating with Moldova in many areas for many years. Our trade is quite substantial, too. However, it is no doubt that we should aim for the $500 million target. We are well positioned to do it. We should also complement traditional areas of cooperation with new dimensions,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that nonstop flights were recently launched between Minsk and Chisinau. The two countries had agreed upon it a long time ago. The president is convinced that the flight will be popular with citizens of both countries. “In particular, when it comes to business, new contacts and tourism. This is a new window of opportunities. It would be great to add more areas of cooperation little by little,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The head of state emphasized that Belarus is open for cooperation with Moldova in absolutely all areas. “We cooperate not for charity purposes. All of our economic activities bring profit; they benefit both Belarus and Moldova. The products that we buy from you are not produced in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He cited cooperation in agriculture, in particular, supplies of corn seeds from Moldova to Belarus. “This year the yield was 85 centners per hectare. It is quite a good yield for a northern country, I think. Thanks to your seeds and joint work we receive seeds for the crop that is very important for us,” the Belarusian president noted.
“We have found very good areas of cooperation; we do not put forward any preliminary conditions to each other. We take Moldova as it is; we understand your choice of priorities. You understand us and do not put forward any preliminary conditions, either. This is the reason for our good relations. I want to assure you that it will always be like that,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that at the recent meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Gomel he discussed, among other things, ways to expand cooperation with Moldova. “He told me about his vision of Moldova’s development. Earlier, I had been concerned about possible obstacles to our cooperation. However, I received absolute support and was reassured that Ukraine would always be in favor of our cooperation,” the president said.
The president offered the Moldovan government words of support regarding the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for early 2019. “I wish you to pass this period peacefully, and I wish the friendly and respected people of Moldova stability, peace and movement to prosperity,” the head of state added.