The aftermath of the Second Regional Forum of Belarus and Russia. On September 21, President Alexander Lukashenko met with the governor of the Ulyanovsk region of Russia. Actually, this dialogue can be called a continuation of a recent talk at the highest level in Sochi.
The trade turnover between our country and the Ulyanovsk region has decreased by almost 20% and now barely exceeds $100 million. Despite the fact that this figure is comparable to the level of Belarus' trade with Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, and Israel, the main purpose of the visit is to intensify economic cooperation.
The Sochi talks resulted in the signing of about 20 interregional agreements. More than 60 commercial contracts were inked too.
At the Forum of Regions the President said about the fact that once contacts with regions contributed to the overall turnover.
Alexander Lukashenko always finds opportunities to meet with the heads of Russian regions in person. Over the past six months he has received heads of eight subjects of the Russian Federation. Today, many regions of Russia are associated with Belarus in this or that way.
Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus:
This is a continuation of our recent conversation that we started at the highest level in Sochi. We demonstrated our unity and the desire to develop cooperation. We have shown the world that we can do things with our hands and brains. Therefore, today's meeting can be considered a continuation of the Sochi talks, meetings, and fairs.
Direct contacts with the subjects of the Russian Federation can without exaggeration be called the basis of economic and trade cooperation and the foundation of relations between Belarus and Russia.
Sergei Morozov, the Ulyanovsk region governor, came to Belarus almost immediately after becoming the head of the region. 10 years ago the politicians met and yesterday they said they remember that occasion well.
Sergei Morozov, the governor of the Ulyanovsk Region of the Russian Federation:
We were talking to you for an hour. You told me what you were doing and gave me some advice. Because at that time once rich and successful Ulyanovsk region was not in the best condition. Over 10 years, we have come a long way and we have implemented many things you advised us on. During these 10 years, trade between the Ulyanovsk region and the regions of your wonderful country has increased more than 10 times.
Ulyanovsk region is a recognized leader in the Russian automotive and aircraft industry. Belarus supplies to the Volga region tractors, trucks, engines, and power plants. The overall turnover sagged a bit but it stood at a total of more than 200 million dollars in 2014. This is comparable with the level of our trade with some countries. For example, such as Slovakia or Hungary.
Belarusian companies are connected with your businesses by a single technological chain. They supply to the Ulyanovsk region automotive components, pumps, engines and power plants, and much more. I think that we need to not just continue this work but also use all existing potential to expand the scope of cooperation. We see priority areas in industrial cooperation, agriculture and the construction industry.
The sides are implementing several joint projects, for example the assembly of Gomselmash combine harvesters in Ulyanovsk. After a pause this production site will resume its work. In 2015, the sides expect that 30 machines will be sold.
Almost five consecutive years we have experienced drought. Today we finished the harvesting. The yield was 17 centners per hectare. You were in the same situation but you managed to harvest 34 centners per hectare, or even 39. This is a fantastic result. I have gone through the city. We have not been here for 10 years. Perhaps I can use only one word - it is gorgeous! I will also try to govern in a way so as to build the same beauty in Ulyanovsk.
Joint projects associated with passenger vehicles are also called promising. At a company in Minsk, the Russian delegation were shown the newest samples of municipal electric transport. Ordinary contact network is used to power these vehicles but they are able to go some parts of the way without wiring.
Vladimir Korol, Director General of Belkommunmash company:
This benefits transport workers allowing them to optimize the schedule and passenger traffic.
Belkommunmash brought from Sochi four cooperation agreements with the Kaluga, Kursk, Novosibirsk and Volgodonsk regions of Russia. The Ulyanovsk region is going to update its vehicle fleet and want to buy some electrobuses from Belarus.
We would like to buy a few hundred units of this transport and thus, perhaps, show the rest of the country how promising this cooperation is.
The government of Belarus and the Ulyanovsk region have an agreement on trade-economic cooperation. It was extended for further two years. The bilateral economic commission will be headed by Minsk mayor Andrei Shorets.
IT cooperation between the sides will be discussed later during the visit.