Belarus is being tested by the first snow. However, at first, we will talk about the country where there couldn’t be any snow. The main political news is from this country. The President of Belarus visited the UAE and Qatar. The correspondent Ilona Volynets will tell us about the importance and details of the visit keeping in mind the history and possible consequences.
If you say in Russian "giraffe drinking coffee with syrup, solving algebra algorithms," you will almost speak Arabic. Almost all of these words were borrowed from Arabic.
Student of the Minsk State Linguistic University:
At first it is very hard to write their letters, because some of them are connected, some are not. We were confused very often.
The Minsk Linguistic University offers the program "Arabic as first foreign language" once in five years. Each of these students understand: now they are investing in their future.
Andrei Stanislavchik, student of Minsk State Linguistic University:
There are not so many people in the CIS who know the Arabic language, especially at a good level. Coming here, we are qualified translators. I think we have prospects to get a good position.
The current visit of the President of Belarus to the Emirates is the fifth one. Alexander Lukashenko visited the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. And everywhere the Belarusian leader was met as a guest of honor, by all the canons of Middle Eastern hospitality.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Thank you, Your Highness, for your kind words addressed to me and my people. In turn, I want to say that Belarus' doors for the UAE and Dubai are always open. And I would like to state my main position at our meeting: you are welcome to often visit Belarus. This is our great interest. We must bring our economic connections to the level of personal and political relations.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence UAE, Ruler of Dubai:
I am very pleased with your visit. During my last visit to Belarus, I enjoyed the nature of your country and communication with wonderful people. We look forward to developing our cooperation.
Tractors Belarus are known in the Emirates. Belarus has a representative office there. Supply of high permeability new vehicles is planned in 2017.
Roman Golovchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to the United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar:
Attention was paid to the contract of Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant for the supply of high permeability cars. It is a significant enough contract, which implementation is expected to begin in 2017. Of course, Belarus would like to increase supply to sectors where we have a competitive advantage. These are food and woodworking products. The Emirati side is very interested in all these goods. They were especially attracted by the possible creation of joint ventures with the participation of their capital in Belarus.
After the last visit of Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian exports to the UAE increased by almost three times. The growth of bilateral trade volume has also been associated with agreements at the highest level.
Palm forests planted in the desert allowed reducing average annual temperature in Abu Dhabi by 2 degrees. Belarus also took part in this greening project. Our country supplied peat, as well as shared technologies allowing to create topsoil in place of sand.
Belarusians are ready to help in the exploration of water resources too. The Emirates purchase fresh water, which is vital for the region. A small bottle of fresh water (0.33 liters) costs about $2.5! But the cost of a liter of gasoline does not exceed $0.5.
Oleg Mamchik, Head of Geology Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Belarus:
The Republic of Belarus has extensive experience in the field of prospecting and exploration of groundwater, there are state-owned companies, there is a private company. We have worked for a long time, and successfully. And representatives of southern countries are interested in this experience. Now Qatar has established a representative of Belarus, which will carry out drilling at construction sites and then plans to carry out the search and construction of water intakes for the use of groundwater.
Elena Babkina, deputy director general for public relations, dairy producer:
Today we are represented in all emirates of the UAE. The products are sold in expensive hypermarkets, expensive stores. These are 146 retail facilities. For us, the market of UAE is indicative. You know perfectly well that not price but quality is in focus there.
Emirates are interested in the use of the advantageous geographical position of Belarus. Our country is part of the Eurasian Economic Union, which means access to the single market of several countries. A new logistics center with Arab investments may appear near a town of Orsha.
Mikhail Kovalev, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, the Belarusian State University (BSU):
Interest of the Emirates in Belarus is obvious: it's investment. Belarus is a convenient springboard for this. Arab investors primarily prefer hotels, banks, and logistics centers. I think, given the transit position of Belarus, they will find suitable for their investment targets.
The Emirates are developing alternative energy and a lot of money is invested in IT.
Vladimir Radkevich, assistant director of an IT company:
They are special people, to communicate with them is like trying to catch sand or water. They formulate thoughts differently and we are learning to understand them. We are ready to compete with the United States, India, China, and we do it with success.
I think if you had a little more rain and snow, you would become multi-rich.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces:
Mr. President, believe me, we are working on it. For the last 20 years, we've been developing the appropriate technology. We have even established a special prize for the best ecological project.
Tourist Ahmed, from the UAE, was in Belarus only once. But impressions will definitely last forever. Obviously, while Belarusians are surprised by deserts and camels, Arabs find our agritourism entertaining.
Ahmed Alvahfi, tourist (UAE):
I will long remember my trip to Belarus. I was in your country in the autumn. It was a little chilly, but the attitude of the local people struck me, so warm and friendly they were! And I'm delighted with the soup and pancakes from potatoes... Potato pancakes.
Ahmed invites Belarusians to visit the Emirates and is certainly going to come back to our country. For a new portion of borscht and potato pancakes!