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President Lukashenko about development of Russia’s agriculture sector

Belarus and Russia are both prepared to use the Union’s potential for sustainable development.

President Lukashenko says that Belarus is ready to continue a constructive dialogue, to make decisions on topical issues of cooperation. What future awaits the Union State?

The Supreme State Council meeting was held in the Kremlin on June 30, 2017. This is where the document on the Union Sate of Belarus and Russia was signed. The handshake of the Presidents of Belarus and Russia looks symbolic; it is a reminder of the equality of the two countries in the Union.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We are having really important events. It's good that they are combined in Moscow. It was a good event - almost 800 specialists alone - representative of various regions who are present at the Forum [of Regions]. This is an opportunity for experts, regional level leaders, not to mention us, to once again discuss development issues, and we will check whether we are on the same page. And the mood is good after such an event, when you see that life is on. And life goes on when regions work and on the ground, when people move. And, indeed, they did a lot. We have a long way to go. I talked about this. And the main thing for us is import substitution. We still have to prove to the whole world that we are a self-sufficient people, a self-sufficient state. And a lot is going on successfully in this direction. I think that even today a decision has been taken at the Higher State Council. All the materials developed by the Union State Council of Ministers have been submitted. They will contribute to the further development of the integration of our two countries, a single Union State.

Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation:
We are very glad to see you in order to talk about the directions of our cooperation in a calm working regime. This concerns economy; this concerns, in part, our international activities, the harmonization of our positions on the international arena. This concerns security issues.

We have many joint plans and joint interests.

President Lukashenko met with Vladimir Putin for the fifth time in 2017. The relations between the two countries are unique.

Franz Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Defense and Security Committee:
The Union of Belarus and Russia has a very important meaning taking into consideration development of the state, state security, free movement of people, getting education and employment.

To cancel roaming for the Union State citizens, to restore Dostoyevsky’s Estate in Brest region, to establish Union culture and art awards-these are the ideas which were discussed during the meeting.

Mechanical engineering and agriculture are the main subjects of integration.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
One of the issues on the agenda is industrial cooperation and agricultural issues. We decided on the 9 issues of the agenda, seven of the issues are at a high state of readiness, which do not need to be discussed today. The two main issues which have always been insisted on by practitioner, ministers, members of the parliament, are industrial and agricultural issues, we agreed to discuss them briefly at the meeting.

Half of Belarus’ export goes to Russia. The total of trade among Belarus and Russia is only half less than with China. Nevertheless, the figures of 2016 are not that optimistic. About 26 billion dollars, the commodity circulation decreased by 5%.

However, the six months of 2017 demonstrate a growth of nearly 27%.

Industry and cooperation must become a locomotive for restoring mutual sales.

Vladimir Putin:
One of the issues we looked into was the results of the realization of the social development of the Union State in 2011-2015. This direction is in demands; thanks to joint programs in the social sector the citizens of Belarus and Russia feel an impact of the union integration.

Belarusian machinery has entered Russian fields. As many as 150 Russian plants cooperate with Minsk’s MTZ.

Vitaly Vovk, Industry Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarusian plants exported machinery worth about 2 billion dollars to Russia in 2016. Products worth more than 3 billion dollars were bought from Russia at the same period of time.

Positive dynamics have preserved in the first quarter of 2017: the growth of trade between the two countries increased by nearly 1.5 times.

Vladimir Baglaev, general director of Cherepovets Iron and Steel Works:
I see the future in such joint projects in economy, in cooperation and production. If we concentrate on success and develop production of joint projects, nobody will stop us then.

We will supersede import then.

Agriculture is a very important aspect of cooperation. The task for the nearest future is to implement an electronic quality control system; It will permit to prevent unnecessary disagreements.

Alexander Tkachev, Agriculture Minister of the Russian Federation:
At our regular meetings

we discuss the necessity of integration of product traceability national systems.

At the previous meeting of the agricultural working group Belarus said that it is ready to implement this system by January 1, 2018. And its integration with the Russian system “Mercury”.

Agriculture was discussed in detail. Livestock is actively developing in Russia; Belarus has already gone through this. Therefore, Alexander Lukashenko is suggests “learning on mistakes of others”.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Don’t rush to eliminate livestock; otherwise agriculture will not develop for many years to come. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss it with Belarusian specialists and choose the right tactics. I do not want to discuss it in public. But do not kill cows; because the cow will not grow in one year, it is not a bird or a pig. Due to the development of agriculture, Russia is actively developing livestock today.

I would advise President Putin to monopolize this process.

No one from abroad will sell good livestock. Because we need it ourselves. There are good beginnings both in Belarus and in Russia to develop this livestock.

There are no disagreements between Belarus and Russia, The main problems, though, are the oil and gas conflict and the increased attention of Rosselkhoznadzor towards Belarusian products. These problems were solved by the two Presidents in St. Petersburg at the beginning of April. The global aim today is to synchronize the movements of two independent states.

Vladimir Putin:
It is evident that we have reserves to return mutual trade back to sustainable growth, to restore the pace of the Union State’s development. Therefore,

it is necessary to continue developing large-scale infrastructure projects, perfect the business climate,

to break the trade and investment barriers between Belarus and Russia. And as a whole, to conduct a coherent economy policy.

Vladimir Putin named Belarus a strategic partner. Alexander Lukashenko, in his turn, emphasized that today’s meeting it is another proof that the Union State doesn’t lose its relevance.

Alexander Lukashenko:
The main result of the work is that we have confirmed the readiness to continue a constructive dialogue, to solve the most topical issues in all directions of cooperation. Belarus and Russia are to engage the Union’s potential for sustainable development and for increasing the wellbeing of citizens of the Union.

As a result of the meeting, nine documents were signed.

The integration union overcame many challenges. The results of joint work are modern production lines, new working places, a mutual market of products and services, coherent external policy. Experts say that despite the difficulties, the Union State of Belarus and Russia will exist.

President Lukashenko about development of Russia’s agriculture sector