Putin notes increase in Russia-Belarus trade/economic ties

MOSCOW, January 20 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin noted a considerable increase in trade and economic ties between Russia and Belarus in the recent months.

At a meeting with new Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich in Moscow on Thursday, Putin underlined that "the main thing in the economic sphere of Russia-Belarus relations is the growing trade turnover."

"It increased dramatically, practically to the pre-crisis level in January through November (we do not have more accurate figures so far)," he said.

He cited the figures, according to which Russian-Belarusian trade was worth 25 billion dollars.

"It's a very serious indicator. It shows that the potential is high and has development prospects," the Russian premier said.

He also drew attention to the rapid increase in Belarusian exports to Russia, with the increase amounting to 47 percent in the designated period.

Myasnikovich confirmed that bilateral trade had recently increased by almost 20 percent.

However, he underlined that trade balance remained sharply negative for Belarus. He explained it by fuels' prevailing in Russian exports to Belarus.


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