Working trip to Minsk Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the opening ceremony of the second Minsk ring road (MKAD-2) during the working trip to Minsk Oblast on 22 December.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about the fulfillment of his instructions concerning the construction of the second Minsk ring road and about the prospects of developing Belarus’ transport infrastructure as well as the reconstruction of the road between Ostroshitsky Gorodok and the Mound of Glory (P80).

International experts believe that Belarusian construction companies and contractors can provide quality services at a reasonable price, this is why they may take part in tenders for the construction services, which are financed by the World Bank, in any part of the world. Now experience and skills of Belarusian specialists are in demand in Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

The head of state noted that a lot of attention has been paid recently to primary motorways while secondary roads are falling into disrepair. “Focusing on the main arteries — it was unavoidable, indeed we had to restore them — we’ve overlooked secondary roads,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko. The head of state said that a government conference will be arranged in the next few months to discuss ways to repair the secondary roads. “Every agrotown — and there are about 2,000 of them — has to be connected to the district capital. The roads from the district capitals to the oblast capitals are more or less okay although some of them need repairs, too,” said the President.

Plans have been made to borrow money required to repair the secondary roads from a Belarusian bank. The loan will be repaid at the expense of the tax all the Belarusian motorists pay to be able to access public roads. “Most likely we are not going to scatter the money across many districts. We will pick out roads that need to be repaired in every oblast. We should give the money to the oblast governors for the sake of repairing specific roads and make them accountable for spending it,” stressed the head of state. “No decision has been made yet. We are going to look into various options. But we will make the decision soon.”

The prospects to develop the Brest – Gomel motorway which will become part of the international transport route (the Meridian project) were also on the agenda.

Addressing the workers representing the road construction companies that built the second Minsk ring road, Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked them for a job well done. In his words, the new motorway is beautiful and reliable. “Many years later we will take pride in having built such a road,” the President was convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko made a few remarks about progress in reconstructing the Minsk-Grodno motorway. “I would very much like the World Bank to finance the reconstruction of this road. Certainly, the bank lends money and the money is cheap. Such loans are profitable for us. But it was important for me to preserve the workforce and to give work to our construction companies. Work at the expense of European money or world money. You did well by winning the tender. But if we hadn’t built this road, we would not have this contract. Now we can act as customers and contractors because we have the relevant construction experience. Everyone at the level of the World Bank recognizes our ability to build motorways two or three times cheaper than our neighbors build such roads,” pointed out the head of state.

One of the participants of the meeting of the road builders and contractors with the head of state said that Belarusian builders should be involved in the construction works at the airport. Aleksandr Lukashenko supported the idea and expressed confidence that Belarusian organizations will do a good job. “We must build the second runway. If you are ready to start, negotiate the terms of the construction contract, but we must build the runway,” the President stressed. “What is the problem? As far as I know, the layer is thicker than 40cm, it is about 80cm. Let it be 1m thick. Can we lay concrete? Yes, we can. Moreover, you have said about it. It means that you are ready to build this runway.”

After addressing the road construction workers the President travelled along the freshly built section of the second Minsk ring road in a contemporary urban bus made by MAZ. He was made familiar with technical parameters and the accomplishment of the second Minsk ring road.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the development and beautification of adjoining territories. In his words, the future structures should live up to the status of motorways of international importance.