Cooperation between Belarus and Russia is growing thanks to ties with the regions. President Alexander Lukashenko on April 2 met with the governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region. Valery Shantsev is a frequent guest on the Belarusian land. Thanks to this fact the dialogue has been very active.
Today, Belarus and Nizhny Novgorod are enjoying a trade of $600 million.
By the way, if you count the total volume of trade with the Russian regions, which representatives visited Belarus in the last three months, you will get more than $2 billion. That's how millions turn into billions.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Today is a great day - April 2, Day of Unity of Belarus and Russia. I have repeatedly emphasized that Belarusian-Russian cooperation is growing stronger through connections with the regions of Russia. For Belarus, the Nizhny Novgorod region is one of the most important partners in Russia.
We have something to offer Nizhny Novgorod, you know it well. And especially in the run-up to the World Cup 2018, which will be held in the Russian Federation. I will not list all the things that we have in Belarus in industry and agriculture, especially because cooperation between us and the Nizhny Novgorod region is underway in all these directions.
Valery Shantsev, Governor and Chairman of the Government of the Nizhny Novgorod region of the Russian Federation:
Cooperation with Belarus is one of the cornerstones of foreign economic activity in our region. You have correctly pointed out that last year we have an active decrease in the mutual trade. But despite this, our cooperation is actively developing in all spheres.
We are very happy, Mr Shantsev, that you are a frequent guest in Belarus. This is a very good thing, because you can see the dynamics of the development of our republic. We appreciate your great experience. I have known you since the time when you worked in Moscow and I very much appreciated your work. Your advice and experience is very important.
By the way, 10 years ago, for his great personal contribution to the strengthening of economic, scientific-technical and cultural relations between Belarus and Moscow, Shantsev was awarded the Order of Honor.
Nizhny Novgorod and Belarusians open joint ventures. For example, they produce Mogilev elevators in Nizhny Novgorod. Distributors of road machinery and tractors MTZ are working in the region. There is also an ambitious project to created an experimental engine.
Today our project, which we discussed with Alexander Lukashenko, is a new engine for buses. Minsk Motor Plant with our All-Russian nuclear center are completing the design. I think it will be a break even in the field of natural gas. Although the transition to natural gas alone gives 50% cost savings and a completely different environment.
Nizhny Novgorod region draws up Belarusian experience in agriculture production. For example, they don't have enough meat products. It is imported from Argentina and other countries.
We once aimed to achieve a turnover of $1 billion. This task is still relevant. If we mark the areas in which cooperation is the most successful, then I would name the agro-industrial complex. We learned from the Republic of Belarus and consistently applied this experience not only from the point of view of the development of production itself but also in terms of rural development and agricultural towns.
The Nizhny Novgorod region is a recognized cluster for the development of nuclear energy. Here nuclear power plants are designed and built. BNTU students from Belarus can take part in the practice program "Nuclear Energy" in the Nizhny Novgorod University of Technology.
Mikhail Zhuravkov, Minister of Education of the Republic of Belarus:
We have very close communication with the Nizhny Novgorod region. But I would like to point out substantial assistance provided to us by Nizhny Novgorod educational institutions in staff training for the nuclear power plant. They, in turn, are very interested in our experience in the organization of education at the level of professional training. We have maintained a very good system of education in schools and colleges, so they are very interested in this experience.
At the National Technical University, the Nizhny Novgorod Governor gave a lecture for the students and talked about the principles of the region's economy.
We have no oil, no gas, no gold. We make it all with our own hands. The basis of our industry is processing. Two years ago, we started producing our own products worth more than a trillion rubles.
Valery Shantsev was handed a certificate of the honorary professor of Belarusian National Technical University.
I can say that I am not used to boast honorary titles, I am working all the time. Therefore, I would ask you to tell me what I need to tell you about next time. I will definitely prepare for this meeting.
In half an hour, the parties discussed ways to increase turnover at the government house.