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Belarus does not dramatize Moldova's western orientation, Alexander Lukashenko says

President Nicolae Timofti came to Belarus on an official visit. The ceremony of the meeting with the head of our country Alexander Lukashenko was held in the Palace of Independence by all the canons of diplomatic protocol: a red carpet, greeting of delegations and honor guard. Traditionally, the anthems of the two countries sounded.

The two leaders discussed prospects of bilateral cooperation one on one. Moldova is Belarus' fourth most important trading partner in the CIS. In 2014, the volume of bilateral trade exceeded $400 million. And by the way, since 2000 it grew by more than 5 times. The basis of Belarusian exports is oil products, agricultural machinery, and ceramic tiles. In turn, Belarus imports from Moldova wine, fruits and vegetables. But the potential of bilateral cooperation is far from being fully realized.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
For us in the past year, the trade totaled $400 million. This is a very high turnover, the fourth in the CIS. I never even could imagine that we can rise to such heights in the turnover. Nevertheless, we have reserves and we have to increase the figures. I am confident that we can add something. The bottom line is that we do not dramatize the situation with the orientation of Moldova on the European Union and with the document that you signed with the EU, on association. We take it calmly. I think that in every situation it is necessary to look for options to exploit this situation for the benefit of the two countries. In Moldova, where we have a very solid position, a position where we are respected we can create joint Belarusian-Moldovan facilities. You can create in Belarus some joint ventures to enter the major markets of the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. It will only add positive dynamism to our relationship.

Nicolae Timofti, President of the Republic of Moldova:
In addition to increased volume of our trade, we have an increase in other indicators. And especially after your visit to Moldova. It also gives a strong impetus to our bilateral relations. I am convinced that roots laid between the two countries will give good results. So I am very pleased to have the opportunity to be back here and see you. I think it will be a new impetus for our development: for our republic, and the Republic of Belarus. What we will do in the future will be for the benefit of our peoples.

In September 2014 the Belarus head of state was in Chisinau on an official visit. Then, the sides agreed to expand bilateral cooperation. First of all, they promised to deepen industrial cooperation for entering the markets of third countries and the EU, as well as expand the assembly plants already created in Moldova. 

Today Chisinau is Minsk's "window to Europe", while Belarus for Moldova is the entry to the Eurasian Economic Union. And, as noted by Alexander Lukashenko, it is important to take advantage of this multidirectional integration.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
The Belarusian side is not politicizing the signing by Moldova of the Association Agreement with the European Union. We respect your course. At the same time we believe that we need to clearly understand what our cooperation will be in the new reality, since both Moldova and Belarus have obligations to partners in integration associations. We stick to a pragmatic position on this issue. If we take an adjusted and balanced approach, we can not only minimize the risks for bilateral trade, but also take advantage of the multi-directional integration and become a bridge between the two integration structures. We mean, first of all, cooperation projects. Today Belarusian trolleybuses and tractors are produced in Moldova. We are working on the project of assembly production of MAZ buses. Belarusian producers are ready to increase the volume of output at existing facilities and take up new projects.
There is a possibility for the planned increase in localization in order to come up with joint products in the markets of neighboring European countries. These projects are beneficial to both parties. We count on the support of the leadership of Moldova. At the same time, there is an interest in the organization of joint processing of Moldovan fruit and vegetable produce in Belarus. Taking into account the developed industrial transport and logistics infrastructure, Belarus may become a platform for processing, storage and promotion of Moldovan goods to the market of the Eurasian Economic Union. In this regard, we are open to suggestions from the Moldovan side.

Belarus does not dramatize Moldova's western orientation, Alexander Lukashenko says