Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Perm Krai Dmitry Makhonin
Belarus is ready to step up cooperation with Russia’s Perm Krai, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia’s Perm Krai Dmitry Makhonin.
“Your region is rich, and people are very talented, advanced. And, most importantly, this is a promising and forward-looking region. You keep saying that this region is the backbone of Russia. I absolutely agree with you. And since this is the backbone of huge Russia, we are destined to cooperate,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that Belarus is ready to make every effort to promote cooperation with the region: “You should know that we will always do everything possible and even impossible for the Russians in general, and even more so for your people, our people in Perm Krai.”
The head of state pointed to a slight decrease in trade with Perm Krai and the need to take additional measures to boost it. “We should demonstrate to everyone that we can do without those who do not want to work with us, and we should also demonstrate that we can achieve a lot. Therefore, we are at your service both in terms of supplies and cooperation. We need to trade. Yet, the most reliable cooperation path is when we are intertwined with each other and our enterprises cooperate,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President noted that mechanical engineering is one of economic mainstays in Belarus; the country has good competencies and skills in this field. Back in the Soviet Union, it was the place where finishing and assembly were done. “We, a country with strong mechanical engineering, are ready to cooperate with you. Not only to trade, but also cooperate in order to make products together,” he said.
Agriculture is another area where Belarus has good competencies. This is the economic sector where Belarus and Perm Krai can expand their cooperation.
"We have preserved the agricultural industry. Not because I once worked in agriculture. I've worked in a lot of places. That’s not the point. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, people were starving, there was nothing to eat. If a country cannot provide itself with food, it can hardly be called sovereign and independent and its survival is questionable. That's why we paid so much attention to some industries. We have preserved our traditional economic sectors, partnerships, research capacity. We have done a lot to feed and clothe people. Hence the focus on agriculture. This is the main reason: to feed and clothe people. Therefore, we have learned to produce many things, achieved a lot," the head of state said.
Belarus, if necessary, is ready to share relevant experience and developments, such as dairy complexes, fattening houses, poultry farms, with Perm Krai. "We are ready to offer you anything you are interested in," Aleksandr Lukashenko assured.
The head of state noted that Belarus is implementing joint projects in agriculture on Sakhalin and in Amur Oblast. Perm Krai is much more closer. "Please have a look at agriculture, and, most importantly, at agricultural mechanical engineering. We have a full complex, related services. If you are interested in personnel training, we are ready to assist with it too. We are ready to show you our achievements not only in mechanical engineering but also breeding, selection. We have preserved it, we have not ruined it," the President noted.
He informed that just the other day he discussed the situation in agriculture with the government in order to add momentum and to prevent backwardness both in terms of the development of the main sectors and in terms of personnel.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the plans of Perm Krai to hold a regional agrarian forum. The Belarusian side is ready to pitch in, having many years of experience of hosting the international agro exhibition Belagro. "In this regard, we are ready to work with you and participate in the organization of the forum," the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also highlighted the importance of joint efforts to promote import substitution against the background of the sanctions. “After all these sanctions were imposed, we need to rely on our own strength, develop our own capacity, substitute imports in all areas. Let’s work on this together. Some say there are some barriers to this. At least the Russian President and I have no disagreements in this regard,” the Belarusian leader said.
Belarus offers its construction services to Perm Krai: “We are ready to run turnkey projects in agriculture, in social infrastructure construction, if needed. After all, Belarus and Perm Krai have a history of cooperation in the construction sector. We should maintain momentum. We are ready to take part in the region’s construction projects.”
Apart from construction, many regions are running large-scale projects to refurbish the old housing stock, and this primarily concerns elevator equipment. “We also retained our gigantic enterprise that shipped elevators to the entire country [the Soviet Union]. Of course, we also need to replace elevators in our country. But we are ready to lend a shoulder to you. I know that this matter is very relevant everywhere in Russia. I hope we will be able to execute all the orders. We are ready to work on it,” the head of state said.
In conclusion, he assured that Belarus would certainly fulfill all the agreements reached no matter how difficult it might be.