Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko offered Leningrad Region of Russia to consider new directions for cooperation meeting with the governor of that region Alexander Drozdenko.
These days, the delegation of the Leningrad region is in Minsk on a visit. Among about 80 Russian regions, it is one of the traditional key trade and economic partners of Belarus. The three-year program of cooperation has allowed increasing the turnover.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Our meeting three years ago to a large extent contributed to the steady growth of trade turnover, which last year exceeded half a billion dollars. Today, unfortunately, there is a downward trend in the volume of mutual trade, so we are interested not least in stabilizing the situation but also in making a significant leap forward. And we should start with such traditional areas of bilateral cooperation as agriculture, construction and mechanical engineering products. Maybe you have some new ideas, maybe you want to underline some drawbacks in our work. If there are any problems it is time we discussed them now, especially on the eve of my meeting with the president of Russia.
Belarusian agricultural machinery has proven itself in Russia. Almost half of the tractor fleet of the Leningrad region operates Minsk machines. Deliveries of traffic and construction equipment as well as buses running on natural gas are promising.
Alexander Drozdenko, governor of the Leningrad Region of the Russian Federation:
Now almost 40% of all farm machinery and agricultural machinery of the Leningrad region is of Belarusian origin. We have to think about creating major service centers in order to service the machinery we are buying. We have really good prospects in road engineering, we have already started work on the construction equipment and buses.
November 23 the delegation of the Leningrad Region will hold talks in the Belarusian government. It will also visit a plant for the production of road equipment and then get a tour of the museum of the Great Patriotic War.
The delegation also observed a minute of silence in Victory Square in memory of WWII heroes. It laid red carnations at the Eternal Flame.