Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast Aleksei Teksler
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashneko met with Governor of Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast Aleksei Teksler in Minsk on 15 November.
“Today we have a unique opportunity to summarize all we have achieved. We need to outline how we are going to build our relations in 2023. Knowing Chelyabinsk and Chelyabinsk Oblast, I was surprised at the power you have. In 2021 our bilateral trade almost reached $500 million. I think we will have more this year. We have occupied some niches in the Russian Federation after certain companies had left the country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President said that Chelyabinsk Oblast has a huge share in the Russian economy. Accordingly, it will have a serious impact on the development of relations with Belarus, he stressed. “It is very important for us to build long-term and effective relationship with you. Your region confirms the effectiveness of the Union State construction strategy,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that despite the significant increase in bilateral trade, Belarus and Chelyabinsk Oblast still have a lot to work on. Chelyabinsk export grows faster than Belarus’ one. “It is our problem, too. We need to be more proactive. We are not going to change the direction of trade with you in what concerns steel. We need it. We have built this relationship. We will try to maintain it,” the President assured.
"As I am informed, you region is carrying out reforms which require, of course, technical re-equipment. You know that Belarus has well-developed engineering and machine tool industries. Here we can work together with you. We can supply anything from what we manufacture. We offer a wide range of products manufactured in Belarus: from food products to the most advanced machines and equipment," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted that in terms of reforms, Chelyabinsk Oblast is actually following the path of Belarus. This has produced results. "Here we need to coordinate, balance our relations so that we can lend a shoulder to each other any time," the President said.
Industrial Belarusian brands are well known in Chelyabinsk Oblast. "We will expand our presence in the huge Russian market," the head of state emphasized. “Today, the topic of import substitution has come to the fore. It’s high on the agenda. Its importance is well understood at the highest level, both in your country and in ours. The task is difficult, but the future of our countries will largely depend on how effectively we address it. Working hard to replace imports, we already see that we will solve this problem. I can't imagine that it could be otherwise. We will definitely cope with. There are enough prerequisites for that," the Belarusian leader is convinced.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that more and more Belarusian companies are switching to Russian and domestic raw materials and components.
"As I am informed, the export of engines by Minsk Motor Plant to Chelyabinsk Oblast in January-September of this year increased by 4.5 times," the head of state stated. “We are happy to welcome your specialists, delegations. You will have a meeting with our government today. You will get acquainted with the innovations of our mechanical engineering, discuss the terms of supply of freight, road and other machinery and equipment. Our options are not limited by anything."
According to him, Belarus is ready to share with Chelyabinsk Oblast the accumulated experience in the agricultural industry, construction, science, medicine, and humanitarian affairs. "I am convinced that as a result of your visit to Belarus, we will find additional reserves for the development of bilateral relations. I want to assure you that everything that we agree on will be executed 100%," the head of state said.