Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Leningrad Oblast Alexander Drozdenko
Cooperation between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast is an example of how to implement Belarus-Russia agreements, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia’s Leningrad Oblast Alexander Drozdenko.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, during negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the heads of state often make a call to the administration of Leningrad Oblast.
“Thank you for the support. Cooperation between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast can be an example of how one should cooperate. This region is a reliable partner. You always keep your word, bring all your endeavors to their conclusion. Figures are a testimony to this,” the head of state stressed.
The trade between Belarus and Leningrad Oblast is steadily on the rise, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. In 2021, the trade crossed the $700 million mark and remains on the growth track this year. “This is a very high level,” the President remarked.
“Withdrawal of Western companies from our common market gives us additional opportunities in all the areas,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state believes that there is huge potential for expanding cooperation in the agro-industrial sector. Despite the fact that Belarus and Leningrad Oblast are partly competitors in this area, since they both have a well-developed industry, there are many options to complement each other.
“I remember working in agriculture back then that we were always jealous of your well-developed breeding business. We are ready to cooperate with you in this regard. If there is even the slightest possibility for us to buy cattle from you, to adopt your experience, we will gladly adhere to this line. In turn, we are ready to cooperate in crop breeding. You know our capabilities,” the President said.
Another interesting project, which, in the opinion of the head of state, has excellent prospects, is to expand the production of valuable fish species. “This is a gold mine, which should be developed together. We have a good production base in Mogilev. We can multiply the volume of fish breeding for the needs of Leningrad Oblast,” he stressed.
Belarus is also ready to get actively involved in high-capacity sectors such as housing, industrial, road and infrastructure construction, which Leningrad Oblast has identified as drivers of economic growth in the region. “We can not only supply road and construction equipment but also implement the relevant projects in these areas,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Belarusian manufacturers, for example, have already participated as contractors in the construction of modular water treatment and purification plants in the Russian region. The country is ready to continue this cooperation.
Builders from Belarus are also ready to construct social facilities in Leningrad Oblast. Plans are in place to build a school for 825 pupils in Lomonosovsky District. Belarusian companies specializing in the construction of industrial facilities are already engaged in implementation of major projects on the development of port infrastructure and the modernization of the oil refinery in Ust-Luga. “If necessary, we are ready to implement any turn-key industrial facility project,” the Belarusian leader said.
During the meeting, the head of state thanked Alexander Drozdenko for helping to bring soil from the burial places of Soviet soldiers who died on the Nevsky Patch, which was very symbolic for Belarus. “As you know, every centimeter there is soaked with the blood of our Soviet people,” the President noted.
“This is part of our joint effort to perpetuate the memory of the Great Patriotic War and the feat of our victorious soldiers. Now, oddly enough, this matter is taking on new significance. It is very important, because there are many who want not just to distort history, but also to consign some of our achievements to oblivion. We must never fall for such tricks. We know what they want from us. Therefore, we will keep doing what we should so that our descendants will be proud of us, so that those who will replace us will thank us for preserving this memory,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The head of the region stressed that it is a great honor for the Russian delegation to meet with the Belarusian head of state. He noted that local authorities in both countries have consistently fulfilled the Presidents’ instructions on the development of economic, social and cultural ties. One of such tasks voiced by Aleksandr Lukashenko was to hit $500 million in trade, and then $700 million. "I would like to report that we are on the way to fulfill this task," Alexander Drozdenko said.
"Let me quote you as a classic. You put it right and I really liked it,” the governor continued addressing the Belarusian President. “At the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on 27 May, you said: ‘We must rally together and act as a united front. We need this and there is no other way if we want to preserve our statehood, our union and if we actually think about the good for our peoples.’ Those are absolutely the right words. In this situation, of course, every region of Belarus and Russia should worker harder to develop further economically, socially and culturally for the benefit of people and produce greater results despite the current adverse conditions. "