Meeting with Pskov Oblast Governor Andrei Turchak

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The Republic of Belarus and Pskov Oblast of the Russian Federation are going to enhance cooperation in a wide range of industries. The issue was on the agenda of the meeting between Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Pskov Oblast Governor Andrei Turchak on 2 June.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was concerned about the fact that the trade between Belarus and Pskov Oblast is not big enough. This figure has been falling since 2012 despite the trade between Vitebsk Oblast of Belarus and Pskov Oblast of Russia went up four times to reach $50 million over the past five years.

According to the President, the Belarusian side views the visit of the Pskov Oblast delegation as timely and necessary because the situation has to be addressed. Among promising fields of cooperation between Belarus and Pskov Oblast Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned civil engineering, agriculture, and production sector. “Belarusian organizations are ready to take part in the designing and construction of residential, manufacturing, and sport assets — you pay a lot of attention to those just like Belarus does — as well as roads using machines and materials made by Belarusian manufacturers,” the President said.

“I believe that the Pskov Oblast administration will soon decide on a pilot project that envisages the construction of residential premises by Belarusians,” added the head of state. Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Belarus suggests this kind of cooperation to many regions of Russia. “It is a good monument of our cooperation. There is no better monument because people will live in those buildings,” said the President.

Belarusian specialists are ready to utilize their expertise to build infrastructure for the 2017 Youth/Junior World Championship. Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that Belarus has experience of accommodating this kind of competitions. He presumed that the Pskov Oblast delegation would be interested in getting familiar with the facilities built in Belarus. The head of state underlined that he had received a letter from the International Biathlon Union, which praised the organization of the world championship in Belarus in 2015.

The head of state remarked that Belarus and Pskov Oblast have significant capabilities for advancing mutually beneficial cooperation in agribusiness. “I think the experience we gathered project by project in the course of agriculture modernization would be useful for you,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Relying on its own experience, Belarus is ready to cooperate with Pskov Oblast in flax growing and processing. “In Soviet times just like Pskov Oblast Belarus was a pillar of flax growing,” remarked Aleksandr Lukashenko. He also pointed out that land improvement measures are taken on a large scale in Pskov Oblast while Belarus has been spending a lot on land improvement for years. In the future Belarus intends to step up the effort. A lot of vehicles have been made for the sake of land improvement. Certain experience has been accumulated and Belarus is ready to share it. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Pskov Oblast is a close neighbor of Belarus. “You are the closest and dearest people for us — in the past and at present,” noted the head of state. “We are not just neighbors, but people, whose mentality is very close and similar.”

The Pskov Oblast Governor agreed that as the closest neighbors Belarus and Pskov Oblast are not bound by conventions of borders. “The deep penetration of humanitarian and economic contacts has deep historical roots,” said Andrei Turchak. Yet in his opinion it is time to expand and deepen economic ties between Belarus and Pskov Oblast.