Official visit of Moldova President Nicolae Timofti to Belarus

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Belarus is ready to implement new projects with Moldova, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Moldova President Nicolae Timofti in Minsk on 16 July.

There are no problems in politics and diplomacy between Belarus and Moldova, stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I wish we had this kind of relations with everyone,” said the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out the high level of Belarus-Moldova trade, which reached $400 million in 2014. “It is registered trade turnover. I think our trade is definitely close to half a billion,” said the Belarusian head of state. “I could never imagine that we would be able to reach such heights.” Nevertheless, according to the Belarus President, the two countries have reserves for increasing the mutual trade volume.

Belarus does not politicize Moldova signing the association agreement with the European Union, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Moldova President Nicolae Timofti in Minsk.

"We respect the chosen course of development and take it as a given. We hold a pragmatic position on this issue,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the Belarus President, in any circumstances ways to exploit the situation to the benefit of both countries should be sought.

“We are grateful for the fact that your actions have never been directed against Belarus although sometimes you may have had to support your allies, the European Union, the USA and give some promises. We appreciate it a lot,” said the Belarusian leader. In his opinion, the fact testifies to the respectable nature of the bilateral relations and a high level of trust. “You can rest assured that we have never wronged Moldova and never will. We will advance our cooperation only in a way beneficial to both nations,” assured the Belarus President.

"However, we need to understand clearly what our cooperation in the new situation will look like given that both Moldova and Belarus have their own obligations before their partners in the integration associations,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. In his view, with a well-crafted and balanced approach the countries can minimize risks to bilateral trade and also take advantage of multi-directional integration, become a bridge between the two integration associations.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus and Moldova have no unresolved issues or the topics closed to discussion. "I am absolutely convinced that with a pragmatic approach we can find solutions to any issue and settle any problems," the Belarusian leader said.

According to him, the active political dialogue built on the principles of equality, contributes to the further development of the Belarusian-Moldovan cooperation. The President of Belarus noted that the countries interact constructively in the international arena.

"Belarus has always showed understanding to the issues sensitive for Moldova. We hope that the Moldovan side will continue to adhere to the same partnership approach as it has so far," the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the two countries are mutually interested in establishing economic partnership. According to him, the parties have been working very pragmatically in this regard. The President of Belarus drew attention to the fact that last year the two countries set a kind of a record as their bilateral trade overstepped, for the first time, the mark of $400 million. Moldova is Belarus’ fourth largest trading partner in the CIS.

Belarus supplies a wide range of products to Moldova: trucks and tractors, products of the petrochemical industry, medicines, refrigerators, gas cookers, light industry goods, and dairy. "Today we have the opportunity to discuss the prospects for the development of bilateral cooperation," said the Belarusian head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon the issues of cooperation projects. He noted that Moldova assembles Belarusian trolleybuses and tractors, and is working on a project to set up a МАZ bus assembly plant. The Belarusian manufacturers are ready to increase the output at the existing facilities.

According to the Belarusian head of state, the two countries can increase the degree of localization and promote the products to the markets of neighboring European countries.

"Such projects are beneficial to both parties. We hope they will be supported by the leadership of Moldova,” said the Belarusian leader.

Taking into account the well-developed industry, transport and logistics infrastructure Belarus can become a platform for processing, storing, and promoting Moldovan products to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during expanded-participation negotiations with Moldova President Nicolae Timofti.

Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that Belarus is open to Moldovan proposals in this regard. “These products should be quality ones. Businessmen should come to Belarus with an open heart and soul. No bribes or extortions! And quality above all! If you win the tender, everything will be honest and fair. I’ve promised it to the president of Moldova,” said the Belarusian leader.

At the same time there is interest in the joint processing of Moldovan fruits and vegetables in Belarus. “Moldovan lands grow good fruits and vegetables. Quality wines, cognacs, and other products are made over there. And we buy them from you in large amounts,” noted the Belarusian leader. In 2014 alone Belarus accounted for 42% of Moldova’s export of wines and about 25% of the export of fruits and vegetables.

Belarus is also ready to share its accomplishments in the areas where the country possesses serious experience and resources, in particular, the construction of roads and infrastructure, the construction of dairy farms and other agribusiness installations. According to the Belarusian head of state, the sides can work harder in these areas if Moldovan partners are interested in that.

The Belarus President said he believes that the potential for cooperation between chambers of commerce and industry as well as other agencies that unite business circles should also be used for the sake of establishing ties between economic operators. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, more frequent business forums are in order.

The Belarusian head of state was satisfied with the high intensity of bilateral contacts in the humanitarian sphere — science, education, sport and other areas. Aleksandr Lukashenko said he believes that the organization of Belarusian Culture Days in Moldova this autumn will be the next step in this direction. Next year Belarus intends to welcome Moldovan cultural workers on a reciprocal visit.

“We have no grudge against Moldova. We are very open in relations with our Moldovan friends. Our people are very good-natured. They treat the Moldovan nation very well,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he believes that the two countries have the foundation to build up bilateral relations. He said he was confident that Belarus-Moldova cooperation will be improved as a result of the visit although the level of cooperation is high enough already. “But there are always higher goals to accomplish. We are resolute to do that,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that during the current visit, the Moldovan delegation has the opportunity not only to discuss the whole spectrum of issues of the bilateral relations with Belarus but also visit the modern high-tech enterprises and socio-cultural facilities. "I hope that what you see will be materialized in our joint projects in the near future," the Belarusian leader said.

"I am confident that our meeting will be an important stage in the development of Belarusian-Moldovan relations and will give an additional impetus to the cooperation in all spheres," said the President of Belarus.

The two countries maintain cooperation in many areas, there are no closed topics in relations, noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. “We are ready to show you everything you would like to see. If you want to have it in Moldova, we are ready to work with you for the sake of transferring our experience to the friendly and close country of Moldova,” stressed the Belarus President.

Belarus is ready to satisfy Moldova’s demand for industrial products and food. In particular, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Belarus is ready to start supplying mechanical engineering and petrochemical products, construction materials, light industry goods, household appliances, medications, and food.

Apart from that, Belarus is interested in taking part in projects for modernizing the motorway and railroad infrastructure in Moldova. Belarus is also ready to share the accumulated experience in the production sector, civil engineering industry, agriculture and other areas. “We have something to offer in these areas,” stressed the Belarus President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Moldova is an important trade and economic partner of Belarus. Moldova is Belarus’ fourth largest trade partner among the CIS states. Since 2000 Belarus-Moldova trade has increased by more than five times to exceed $400 million in 2014.

“We have agreed that we will continue building up cooperation. We have definitely accomplished something but it is necessary to move on,” believes the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that during the negotiations they paid considerable attention to finding new formats of interaction for the sake of advancing the bilateral trade and economic ties. According to the Belarusian head of state, manufacturing cooperation seems a promising avenue, moreover, manufacturing cooperation in all the spheres of mutual interest including the promotion of joint products to third-country markets, including the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.

The Belarusian head of state pointed out that there are absolutely no problems in politics between Belarus and Moldova. The two countries constructively cooperate at international platforms, including the United Nations Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and other global and regional organizations. According to the Belarusian leader, more vigorous dialogue between the parliaments should be lauded as well.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the two heads of state had had productive and substantial negotiations.

With satisfaction the two leaders mentioned the high intensity of bilateral contacts in the humanitarian sphere: science, education, sport, and other fields.

“There are no unresolved issues and closed discussion topics in Belarus-Moldova relations,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “We have always treated with understanding the issues, which are sensitive for Moldova. We expect the Moldovan side to continue following the same approach.”