Belarus thanks Latvia for its stance on nuclear power plant

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Belarus thanks Latvia for its stance on nuclear power plant

Belarus and Latvia are ready to significantly expand relations. Mutual interest of the neighboring countries was confirmed at the meeting in the Palace of Independence between

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Latvian Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis. It should be noted that this is not his first visit to Minsk (although, after a long break, since 2009). Both sides expect that the current visit will become a kind of catalyst for cooperation.

The President stressed that there is a traditionally good relationship between the countries, and political dialogue takes place not only within the framework of bilateral cooperation, but also through the EU.

Alexander Lukashenko also thanked the official Riga for constructive position in relation to the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. The Belarusian nuclear power plant, according to the President, can become the property of the entire region.

Among the particularly promising directions of Belarus-Latvia cooperation are logistics, transport, high technologies, scientific developments, and supplies of hydrocarbon raw materials.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
It's good to see you in Belarus. It is good that you have come. It is generally accepted that... At least everything is known in comparison. In comparison with our other neighbors, we have good relations with Latvia. But the idea that our relationship can be much better does not leave me. We do not realize many of our capabilities. And in this regard, your visit to Belarus is very welcome and significant.

I want to tell you honestly: if Latvia wants it, we can make significant progress in all areas and issues that are of Latvia's interest. This concerns transport, and logistics, and political issues, and the Eastern Partnership, and contacts with the European Union. Still, this is the border of the European Union and frankly Belarus' border is friendly, unlike many others. This is true.

I very much hope, Mr. Prime Minister, that after this visit we will be able to do much. You (apparently, like many others) just need to get rid of the feeling that Belarus is too dependent on our brotherly Russia and are not able to take any steps without looking at Moscow.

You have never been reproached for joining the European Union. On the contrary, we try to benefit from this. We are happy if you succeed. But you must clearly understand that Russia is not just a friendly country for us. The fraternal people lives there.

You are interested in terms of the economy in relations with Belarus. That's right, and we are ready for this. We are ready to deliver goods through Latvia, increase freight flow and so on, because it is profitable for you. Likewise, relations with the Russian Federation are beneficial to us from the point of view of the economy.

You must be sure that Latvia is not a foreign country for us. We are ready to build relationships with you so that we are more independent in terms of hydrocarbons - both you and us. You have direct access to the sea, in this respect we can agree on supplies. Especially relevant is these revolutionary upheavals: hydrocarbon era is ending and renewable energy and electricity are becoming more and more relevant.

We are building a nuclear power plant. By the way, I'm grateful that you do not follow that incomprehensible course.

You see, some are against this nuclear power plant. But it is useful. It will be in use long after me and you, this is for our children and grandchildren. This station is said to be Belarusian. We are moving towards globalization, borders are increasingly eroding. There will be time when this station will be a common property.

Belarus is ready to develop any areas that are of interest to Latvian partners, including discussing the loading of the Baltic ports. Trade turnover between the countries is about $440 million. Latvia is among the top ten of Belarus' trading partners. Joint investment projects are showing decent figures too.

Māris Kučinskis, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia: 
We did not use many areas in which we can find common interests. As you said, there are certain conditions on the part of the European Union, but we know you, we know the language, we can search for common points not only in transit and logistics. Yesterday, the prime minister and I agreed to implement specific items on our agenda within a month, so we will work in those areas.