The meeting of President Lukashenko and President Putin in St. Petersburg settled the long lasting economical dispute. Industrialists, agrarians and politicians of Belarus froze like in a mime and waited for the moment when the two presidents shook hands.
It was in St. Petersburg. In the nearest time at least two more meetings are expected, in Bishkek at the EEU Summit and the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Let’s return back to the negotiations in St. Petersburg.
The relations between Belarus and Russia brightened up.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
We have no unsolved issues. We managed to look into the future functioning of our economies. We solved these issues, and I suppose, as President Putin said, in ten days’ time Belarus’ and Russia’s governments will formalize and bring the two economies to a normal rhythm of work.
The differences arose in the gas sector. And then other problems were brought up. They grew together with the price on gas. However, it seems that this problem will soon disappear from the agenda of the Union State.
Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation:
We agreed on how we are going to work not only in 2017, but in 2018 and 2019 as well. We confirmed our readiness to do everything possible so that by January 1, 2018 joint rules of the mutual gas market are developed, and by 2024 the intergovernmental agreement within the EEU is developed and signed.
Georgy Grits, political expert:
The billions of dollars of products, which Belarus exports to Russia, including mechanical engineering products, the percent of the energy supplies is very high. For this reason the projected price is important for the buyer.
By 2025 the gas prices for Belarus will be the same as for the bordering regions with Belarus. The oil issues have been decided on the wishes of Belarus for the next eight years.
Vladimir Semashko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
The oil supplies to Belarus will be renewed. By 2019 inclusively 18 million tons out of 24 will be sent to oil refineries, it is fair enough, the rest 6 million will go through the customs once again and the entrance duties will enter the budget of the Republic of Belarus.
The economic effect of the negotiations between President Lukashenko and President Putin will be more than two billion dollars in the nearest three years.
Vasily Matyushevsky, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
We are talking about the possibility of refinancing the debt, which Belarus has within the intergovernmental loans of the current year. It is as many as $700-850m, plus the percent and the main debt.
From financial calculations to miscounts of Rosselhoznadzor. President Putin ordered to solve the problem on the spot. The head of this organization doesn’t have a wish to “eat’ all the good producers of quality goods anymore. He refused visiting Belarus and said that he asked the executive management to take him to the side, stating that he may be a real enemy and asked to investigate the criminal case.
Meanwhile, ordinary specialists of Rosselhoznadzor are in Belarus already.
Maxim Malinovsky, Deputy Director General of a cheese factory:
We are not afraid of the inspection from Rosselhoznadzor, we are prepared for a working dialogue. All the products of our factory go through strict laboratory control.
While Rosselhoznadzor is trying to talk with Belarusian producers in a language of sanctions, top managers are more often talking about the diversification of export. Did the relations between Minsk and Moscow brighten up after the negotiations in St. Petersburg? Well actually, there were no cold spells in the first place.
Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
We understand that between business entities certain differences may arise, but Belarus and Russia never had differences concerning principle issues of external politics or security of our countries. I am convinced that there will be no differences.
The negotiations of the two presidents lasted three times more than it was initially planned.
We started discussing the oil and gas issues. The main attention was paid to the long planned issue of security of our states. I won’t specify anything here, you see what is happening. And we simply want to maintain stability in Russia and Belarus. There aren’t so many quiet places in the world today.
Belarus is a “Window to Europe” for Russia’s economy, and some kind of a balcony in terms of security issues. And the high tech platform for manufacturing military stuffing.
Vitaly Solodukha, Director General of JSC “Integral”:
At the beginning everything was set so that Belarus did not compete with Russian organizations, but instead they cooperated.
After six hours of negotiations a final communique was reached. To reach high progress in Space sector, to integrate the defense system.
Alexander Shpakovsky, political expert:
At the moment the Russian Army counts 400 thousand people. The Belarusian Army, which counts 50 thousand people, shields the western borders of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. Basically, Russia saves a considerable amount of money by having a military union of the Republic of Belarus. Belarus economizes as well, otherwise it would be treated differently, but Russia stands behind Belarus.
All the restrictions between Belarus and Russia were lifted so much, that the two presidents are ready to open the difficult pages of the Union’s economy. Belarus and Russia need to move forward and sow the agricultural partnership with crops of cooperation. It will be discussed by the two leaders at the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus.