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President Lukashenko: Belarus and Udmurtia need a higher level of cooperation

Belarus and the Republic of Udmurtia have many points of contact in various fields. The expansion of bilateral cooperation was discussed at the meeting of Alexander Lukashenko with the head of the Russian region. In recent years, trade between Belarus and Udmurtia has dropped. However, there is hope for the new head of that region and the capabilities of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Udmurtia is located west of the Ural Mountains in Russia. The distance between Minsk and Izhevsk is nearly 2,000 kilometers. Half a million people live mainly in the cities and towns. Almost half of the territory of Udmurtia is covered with forests. The land is rich in oil. The region has opened more than a hundred oilfields.

Alexander Soloviev was appointed head of the Udmurt Republic less than six months ago. Five years ago, working as chairman of the State Council, together with the heads of delegations of the Volga Federal District, he met with Alexander Lukashenko. By the way, the President of Belarus visited the Udmurt Republic in 1999. Therefore, there is a history of connections. However, it makes sense to give new impetus to the relations.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
In recent years, the volume of trade between Belarus and Udmurtia has dropped. There are objective reasons, of course, but we should not put up with it. Especially because the economic union, which began to work in 2015, additional gives us additional opportunities for enhanced cooperation. It aims to provide the most favorable conditions for the development of cooperation of the participating countries - Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. We should work together to overcome the current negative trend in mutual trade. We must try to replace the products, which we then traded in. I mean petroleum products, agricultural products, mechanical engineering and consumer goods.

Alexander Solovyov, head of the Udmurt Republic of the Russian Federation:
Indeed, our trade relations have fallen, but, nevertheless, today 30 people came with me. They are directors of our major businesses engaged in agriculture, building and transportation. Today, they work here in Belarus. Yesterday they held a series of meetings. And today, I received the first information that the meetings were successful.

In 2014, the trade between Belarus and the Udmurt Republic, was approximately $45 million. The main part of exports is sugar. Belarus and Udmurtia are implementing joint projects.

The enterprise Udmurdagrosnab is the dealer of Belarusian engineering giants. It buys equipment and spare parts for $7 billion. There are options to expand bilateral cooperation.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
We are ready to increase deliveries to Udmurtia of a wide variety of agricultural, automotive, road-building, passenger, and municipal equipment that you know. We produce quality products of light and food industries. And I am sure that, during the visits to companies in Belarus, you will see this, especially visiting the Brest region.
Particular attention should be paid to the development of important industrial cooperation. It allows you to use features of our industrial, scientific and technical, intellectual capacity and will give a comprehensive effect. Udmurtagrosnab is the evidence of successful operation. And Belarus and Udmurtia pay much attention to agriculture. If you are interested, we can share our relevant experience in the cultivation and processing of a wide range of agricultural products, including flax. I think that cooperation in the field of transport, road construction, municipal services, in the humanitarian sphere should become long-term.
In short, you know well our possibilities and we know your options. I think we need to find the opportunity for getting to a higher level of cooperation to overcome the negative trends of decrease in trade turnover between Belarus and Udmurtia.

The current head of the Udmurt Republic has for more than two decades led the organization of road maintenance.

Now Russia is upgrading highways. Therefore, the experience of Belarusians in this area would be very helpful.

Alexander Solovyov, head of the Udmurt Republic of the Russian Federation:
Roads are like blood arteries, without which no one lives. If there are no roads, there will be no villages. If there are no roads, the economy will not develop. So I think that just after our meeting, we will have a conversation with road engineers who produce equipment. We will talk with them about different things. In general, when the conversation turns to business, this is a big incentive for further work.

The Russian partners also expressed interest in biotechnology.

The guests visited a pharmaceutical company in Minsk and are ready to consider new joint projects. Since the Russian region itself does not produce drugs.

Specific, consistent, predictable and efficient - this is what Prime Minister of Belarus, Andrei Kobyakov, thinks about relationships with partners from the Russian regions.

A protocol to develop cooperation at the intergovernmental level was signed on February 27 by Belarus and Udmurtia.

In the morning, the delegation of Udmurtia laid wreath at the monument in Victory Square. Alexander Solovyov and other members of the delegation paid tribute to soldiers who fought against the Nazi invaders in Belarus. 

The guests left our country with a portfolio of specific agreements on cooperation with enterprises. Their visit concluded on February 28.