Meeting with Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has met with Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas to discuss a whole set of Belarus-Russia relations.

“I would like to discuss some essential matters with you. First of all, this pertains to integration efforts of the governments of the post-Soviet countries. What is the state of affairs here as far as the Russian Federation is concerned? Naturally, this also pertains to the questions and problems that remained (though there are not so many of them) after our meeting with Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg. What is the current state of things here? Have you come to grips with the unresolved problems and what is holding us back? The focus will be on these issues today,” the president said.

Another topic on the agenda is Belarus-Ukraine cooperation. “We apparently have good relations with Ukraine, too. We have talked to the president [Volodymyr Zelensky]. They asked for some support. Are we providing this support?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

The president also spoke about his meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze that took place on the same day, 23 August. The meeting touched upon some logistics issues that have to do with transit through Ukraine. “I guess he will speak about it when he will meet with you. We have some issues with logistics while delivering our goods to the Caucasus through Ukraine. It is not working well. Maybe, we are to blame for that as we are not taking enough care of some technicalities. It is unlikely that Ukraine will impede trade. They also benefit from that. This is a transit country for our goods,” the president said.

“I am ready to discuss and take decisions on a number of other issues that you have,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

“Today the situation in the economy is balanced. The majority of qualitative indicators are fulfilled. The situation is stable on the monetary, financial and currency markets. The inflation rate is within the projected range,” the head of government said in his report.

“We have received information on salaries today. They are increasing. We had Br1,128 in July. The average salary has increased to Br1,055. It is slightly higher than the government’s forecast. Consequently, it imposes additional obligations on us to look for funds and keep salaries in the budget-sponsored sector and labor pensions at the level that you determined – 80% and 40% of the average salary respectively,” Sergei Rumas said at the meeting.

“We agreed to increase salaries of low-paid workers. We need to raise salaries in the social sector, education, healthcare, salaries of the nursing staff in healthcare. We need to support these people. What is the situation there?” the head of state wondered.

“Today the government is focused on giving decent salaries to low-paid workers,” Sergei Pumas said.