Talks with Head of Russia’s Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov

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Belarus and Russia should be the architects of their own future, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Head of Russia’s Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in Kazan on 21 February.

Upon the arrival in Tatarstan, the head of state headed for the Kazan Kremlin to have a bilateral meeting with Rustam Minnikhanov.

“Perhaps it is good that circumstances have pushed us towards each other. We have stopped arguing for no reason. We have realized that we have few friends (and maybe no real friends at all) and that we should build our future ourselves,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

The president added that the parties are now implementing these approaches in practice - it works, but it needs more efforts. “We need time. We will do it,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that Tatarstan is the most developed, high-tech region of Russia with a well-developed industrial sector. Competition in the market is increasing due to recent circumstances with Western companies leaving and Chinese and other manufacturers taking their place. Despite this, Tatarstan demonstrates strong economic growth.

“We know how hard it is to achieve this growth. We are very happy for you. We want to cooperate with you, because this is a high level of development,” the head of state emphasized. “There are businesslike people to talk to, a high level of management and a wise economic approach.”

The president is convinced that together Belarus and Tatarstan can achieve a lot. “If we agree, no problems will be created on our part,” he assured.

Rustam Minnikhanov, in turn, said: "Welcome to the fraternal Tatarstan. You are a great friend of our republic. You are doing a lot for our Russian state. When the sanctions came, we saw who is a friend and who is a fellow traveler. You are the true, closest person for our country, for us."

He presented the Order of Friendship (Duslyk) to the Belarusian leader.