Report of Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Dvornik, Chairman of State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov

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The state of affairs in the forestry industry is dissatisfactory. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Dvornik and Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov on 23 May. The President received a report on ways to more effectively use forest resources from them.

The head of state said: “Two of us should get together with the Forestry Ministry and decide how we will proceed from here. It is a gift of nature. But our treatment of the forests is disgusting. Apart from flying over and seeing what is going on from above, I often go to forests and see how our forest wardens operate. I don’t see new trees planted well, or mature trees harvested on time for processing. I don’t see good roads… In other words, there is little order. We just carelessly treat the most magnificent gift from nature! Never mind the economic side of things. Forests occupy nearly 40% of the territory. We should use them well. They offer good raw materials. Yet even mass media report cases of forest mismanagement.”

In his words, a great deal of complaints about the performance of the forestry industry has been heard recently. “You, Vladimir Andreyevich [Dvornik], should get seriously involved in the matter and get to the bottom of it. Leonid Vasilyevich [Anfimov] has been responsible for forestry industry since days of old and knows quite well what is going on in forests,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that he had once again received a proposal to allow exporting round wood. “In the past we phased out the practice. We agreed we should process our forest resources into some kind of semi-finished products or, better yet, into furniture with a high added value. We agreed to process raw materials and export the resulting product. Once again you suggest exporting not even sawn timber but round wood,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

The President stressed that the forestry industry cannot afford waste products. “Learn from Germans. They have no waste products. Process them and sell them,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned that in the past an entire campaign was launched to process low-grade wood into fuel pellets, including wood harvested from areas affected by timber beetle. “Six factories will be built you said. When are you going to build them? I was curious about the technology the factories will use. What factories are you talking about? There are only a couple of machines, which convert chipped wood, sawdust, and other waste products into pellets,” he said. “The demand on the market is large. And the price is good. But you should have installed the equipment yesterday. I quoted an example from 1941. If we had tried to relocate factories to the Urals in this manner, we would have lost the war. And today we cannot install six machines!”

“This is why if you have any surplus to requirements, any waste products you cannot process at existing enterprises, you should hurry up and implement these projects,” the head of state stressed.