Growing Ties: Armenia, Belarus in good shape for increased cooperation

By Gayane Mkrtchyan

The bilateral relations between Armenia and Belarus register dynamic development, the foreign ministers of the two countries said during a joint press conference on Friday.

According to Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan, the current commodity turnover of about $30 million between Armenia and Belarus should be increased by 20-30 percent.

"Our commodity turnover with neighbor Lithuania is $30 million. So we can clearly raise that $30 million with Armenia by all means," said Belarus Foreign Minister Sergey Martynov. "We are interested in having Armenian traditional goods on the Belarus market."

Belarus exports trucks and elevators to Armenia. Among the future plans is the foundation of vehicle-tractor stations in Armenia at the expense of a Japanese grant. Belarus will also provide the municipality of Yerevan with means of transportation.

Referring to the question that as a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Belarus sends weapons to Azerbaijan, Minister Martynov said that Belarus does not violate any obligation connected with either the United Nations or CSTO.

"We have military-technical cooperation with Armenia, too. And we do hope that our cooperation with Armenia within the framework of CSTO will be maximally stable," said the Belarus foreign minister.

Referring to cultural cooperation between the two countries, Nalbandyan announced plans to hold days of Armenian culture in Belarus and days of Belarusian culture in Armenia in 2010



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