News.Az interviews Nicholai Patskevich, ambassador of Belarus in Azerbaijan.
The next session of the Intergovernmental commission on Azerbaijan-Belarus economic cooperation and the official visit of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Baku. Which issues will be discussed within the framework of the intergovernmental commission and the visit of the Belarus president to Azerbaijan?
Indeed, the preparation is now held for the next session of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation. The session will be held in early June. Now the program, exact date, time, issues to be discussed are being prepared. Primarily, there will be considered the process of execution of the protocol of the previous session of the intergovernmental commission. This is already the sixth session. The previous one was held in Minsk in May of the last year. Certainly, the process of holding measures to execute the program of trade and economic cooperation for period until 2015 will also be considered. The implementation of this program is currently being analyzed under the established program, some issues are removed from control, others get additional stimulus for development and some new points are added. This is the constant program.
We expect an agreement on cooperation between Ganja and Minsk automobile plants about the joint production of communal technique on the basis of MAZ cars during the session of an intergovernmental commission. This agreement will be long-term and intended for ten years. This is a big serious program and it will be a logical continuation of the program that has already been implemented. This is the assembly of Belarus tractors and cars in Azerbaijan and Ganja.
A number of other issues about the further development of the trade and economic relations in construction, agriculture, processing cooperation in science and new technologies and a number of other issues will also be considered.
We are also planning to hold the visit of our president Alexander Lukashenko after the work of the commission in the first decade of June. The exact date of the visit is currently being coordinated and in the nearest future we will know the exact time. There are no doubts that this visit will give a good stimulus to the development of our bilateral relations like it was in case of the visit of Ilham Aliyev to Minsk in November of the last year. Very serious achievements, agreements were reached there. This allowed us to survive in the year of 2009 that was very hard for the world economy, when all countries without exception felt the impact of the global financial crisis. The foreign trade turnover dropped in all countries, including ours, but the turnover between us did not drop. It rather rose. On the whole, this proves that there will never be crisis between our countries. We are developing our relations dynamically. The first four months of this year show that the trade turnover is growing rapidly. Its growth is somewhat about 130%. We hope that our president's visit will also give a good stimulus to the further strengthening and development of our relations.
The most serious global issues of cooperation in the spheres I have indicated, in construction, science and technologies, agriculture, processing, as well as mutual supplies of goods will be considered and approved by the heads of states and we will work intensively at developing our bilateral ties.
Do you expect to sign any documents on development of bilateral cooperation and in which spheres do you expect to sign them?
We expect to sign a number of documents and their development is under way. It is difficult to say which of them will be signed. The works is constant. We are now working at about 20 documents. But I think a number of documents will be signed. It is clear today that a very serious and important document, the contract on mutual protection of investments, will be signed. Certainly, it must ensure development of relations in the investment sector. Thus, definite guarantees, protection of investment and guarantees of return of receipts from investments are envisioned. These are what businessmen are concerned with. All these issues have been fixed in the draft agreement. I think this will have a serious impact on the development of mutual investments in our countries.
Is there information that a foundation of a new building of the Belarus embassy in Azerbaijan will be laid? What can you say about the current state of this process?
The process is proceeding positively and the issue is being considered. It should be noted that it will be like this, we cannot do it now but the fact that the issue is quite dynamic shows that the decisions about the exchange of lands for construction of the embassy will be positive. At least, there are all grounds to think so.
Will the construction of the embassy building start this or the next year?
If a decision is taken to exchange lands, the projection will start this year and construction will be launched in 2011.