Meeting with Governor of Russia's St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov

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  • 10:17

The results of cooperation between Belarus and St. Petersburg are impressive, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov in Minsk on 20 April.

According to the head of state, the results of cooperation between the parties in 2022 are impressive. Trade rose by almost half a billion dollars and reached a record $2.2 billion. Not every state can boast of such a trade as ours," the President said. This year, the upward trend continues. In January-February of this year, the trade expanded by 1.4 times, and Belarus' exports - 1.7 times. "This is primarily due to our very close and engaged cooperation with St. Petersburg. I know that you also have a great interest in Belarus. Rest assured: we will do our utmost to implement everything we have agreed on," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President lauded the St Petersburg leadership for the approach to solving the tasks set: if they take up an issue, they solve it big, efficiently and, most importantly, on time. "I want to assure you that Belarus has the same approach to cooperation with St. Petersburg," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

He thanked St. Petersburg for the opportunity for Belarusian enterprises to participate in a large-scale transport modernization program launched in the city. "We will do everything to ensure that St. Petersburgers, who are our kin folk, receive the most modern and high-quality product from Belarus," the head of state assured. According to him, in 2022, more than a thousand MAZ buses entered service in St. Petersburg. Deliveries of Belkommunmash trolleybuses continue. St. Petersburg has plans to purchase buses of the largest capacity. "We're going the right way. I think that we will be of interest to you in this regard," the President noted.

"We welcome St. Petersburg's plans to use electric buses. Minsk has gained serious experience in the operation of these vehicles. We are ready to share our experience if you are interested," Aleksandr Lukashenko continued.

Belarusian utility vehicles have proven their worth on the streets of St. Petersburg last winter. In this regard, the Belarusian President recalled the case when the Russian President decided to show the leaders of foreign countries his hometown. “I was amazed at the cleanliness and tidiness of St. Petersburg, at least the places that I visited. I thought that Minsk was the cleanest city. Upon returning home I had a substantive conversation with the Minsk mayor and suggested he go to St. Petersburg to learn how to keep the city clean. Although for some reason I was criticized for these words by some media outlets in Russia. It puzzled me. But that's what I saw."

Continuing the conversation about possible areas of cooperation, the head of state touched on the program to upgrade elevators in St. Petersburg. Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that the Belarusian Mogilevliftmash company will meet St. Petersburg's demand, even despite its heavy workload and extensive order intake

"The topic of food security is certainly on the agenda of the bilateral dialogue. Food accounted for 40% and more of Belarusian exports to St. Petersburg. We value this, Alexander Dmitrievich, very much," the President emphasized. “I often say to the Russian President: in our cooperation with St. Petersburg everything turns out right, with Moscow - alas, not very much (but we ourselves are to blame in many respects). We would like to work with two capitals of Russia. But we have a very warm, good relationship with St. Pete in this regard, and this is visible in practice."

The head of state placed special emphasis on the quality of Belarusian food, which is provided, among other things, thanks to the GOST standards preserved since Soviet times. "Today we are getting a decent return on this. Over the past year, our trade in food exceeded $8 billion, and no industry has brought us as much income as this one. It has to do with quality. In Russia, our food products have proven themselves," he said.

They also talked about the possibilities of increasing tourist flows. "Maybe we should start with the organization of the most convenient transport service. In the future, we will create joint tourism products and combine visits to St. Peteresburg and Belarus," Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested.

"In general, there is something to work on in all areas: humanitarian, industry, agriculture," the head of state summed up.