Meeting with senior officials of the Council of Ministers

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a meeting with senior officials of the Council of Ministers to discuss economic matters on 2 August.

A meeting with the country’s top officials responsible for the economic sector is a traditional format used by the Belarusian head of state to discuss the state of things in the domestic economy and work out efficient solutions.

“We are having another meeting to discuss current issues, though there are also some strategic matters, like relations with Russia within the framework of the Union State. We are to discuss these matters and to take decisions. These are not the kind of issues where we need to start from scratch trying to come to grips with them. These matters are well known, they are discussed one way or another in the society. We need no self-reports. We need concrete proposals and their substantiation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The matters that were discussed covered finances, investment and foreign economic activities. “People who initiated a number of projects, decrees and resolutions of the President and draft laws will be asked to provide further explanation and clarification on these documents. It is also important to hear alternative views in order to take balanced decisions. Therefore, this traditional economic session is attended not only by government members, but also other high-ranking officials, heads of law enforcement agencies and bodies whose work has to do with the matters discussed at the meeting,” the President said.

The advancement of relations with Russia was one of the items on the meeting’s agenda. Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke in more detail about the recent negotiations in St Petersburg with President of Russia Vladimir Putin and gave instructions to expedite work on reconciling terms of the updated action program.

The participants of the meeting also discussed investment projects in the woodworking industry in Dobrush and Shklov.

Harvesting was also high on the agenda. Some 55% of cropping area has already been cleared. However, the head of state noted that not in all regions the situation is good. Unfortunately, weather conditions interfere with harvesting. The President gave appropriate instructions to rectify the situation and provide farmers with the necessary fuel supply.

In addition to that, the participants of the meeting discussed the visa waiver for foreign nationals. A decision was made to expand the visa-free zones in Grodno Oblast and Brest Oblast.