Meeting with Governor of Russia’s Tomsk Oblast Vladimir Mazur

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Governor of Russia’s Tomsk Oblast Vladimir Mazur on 15 August.

"Tomsk Oblast is one of the promising Siberian partners for us. The significant raw materials, industrial, tourism, and intellectual potential of the region is of great interest to us," the President said.

Last year, the trade between the parties surged by 47% to total almost $23 million. In the first half of the year, growth was almost 30%.

"But obviously, this is extremely small. The trade should be at least two to three times greater. The growth points are many," the head of state noted. “I would like to emphasize that we are absolutely open to a substantive discussion in all areas of cooperation. You can be absolutely sure that if we make commitments we will honor them 100%. I assure you that our agreements will be fulfilled 100% or even above it.”

One of the traditional pillars of economic cooperation between Belarus and Tomsk Oblast is the export of Belarusian agricultural raw materials, including malt to the Russian region. In H1 2023 Belarus exported $2.35 million worth of malt to Tomsk Oblast.

The Belarusian National Biotechnology Corporation launched the supplies of amino acids in 2022. “This product is vital for livestock farming. Given current pressure on us and Western sanctions, it is very important that here too we are moving away from external dependence here as well,” the President said. “As I have been told, modernization of the urban electric transport is a topical issue for Tomsk and Tomsk Oblast. I know that Belarusian trolleybuses are widely used in your area. We are ready to provide the whole range of the vehicles we produce, including trams, buses and electric buses.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus' Mogilevliftmash can fully meet the demand of Tomsk Oblast for elevator equipment both for new buildings and elevator replacement programs.

In recent years Tomsk Oblast has achieved considerable success in the agricultural sector. Belarus is also making its contribution to this process: Belarusian tractors and harvesters are working effectively in the fields of the Russian region.

“We believe that our experience and high quality technologies could also be in demand in your cattle breeding, crop production, and also construction of dairy and grain drying complexes. We are ready to share linen flax cultivation and processing technologies. Your region, the same as the entire Belarus, is a flagship in this respect,” the Belarusian leader said.

More than 60% of the area of Tomsk Oblast is occupied by forests. The Russian region also has huge reserves of peat. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that this wealth should not only be effectively used but also preserved, especially from fires that have become more frequent in recent years. According to the President, Belarus is ready to share its best practices in the production of logging, fire and rescue equipment, peat extraction machines.

Today, Tomsk Oblast is one of the top three regions in Russia's national rating of scientific and technological development of regions, while the city of Tomsk is called a student hub. Educational institutions of Belarus and Tomsk Oblast signed 25 cooperation agreements, and a number of joint research projects are underway.

“However, I believe that cooperation potential in education and science is much bigger. We must make good use of each other's advanced competencies. Your scientists, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and businesses could launch a joint project to produce special-purpose transistors and transistors for the aerospace industry. This can be a good example of intellectual collaboration, and this collaboration is very relevant,” the President said.

“I am convinced that together we can create the most cutting-edge technologies, weaning ourselves off of our dependence on the West,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.