Belarus President Suggests New Ways Of Co-Operation With Russian Provinces

MINSK, Dec 16 (NNN-BELTA) - Belarus should create new schemes for co-operation with Russian provinces, said President Alexander Lukashenko when he met with a delegatio from Russia's Chelyabinsk Oblast (province) here Tuesday.

Along with maintaining existing ties, Belarus should create new models of co-operation that would contribute to overcoming negative consequences of the global crisis together, remarked the Belarusian head of state.

Priorities should include enhancing the manufacturing co-operation, realization of joint projects for manufacturing and exporting high-tech and science-intensive products, and expanding the list of exports, he added.

He offered aid in developing projects for building the infrastructure in the Chelyabinsk oblast, in particular, bridges. In addition, an agreement was reached with Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant to start manufacturing reclamative machines with assistance of the Russian company. There are plans to start assembling the machines as early as next year.

President Lukashenko stressed that regional co-operation was an effective area for developing integration processes in the Union State. In view of the fact economic ties with the Chelyabinsk oblast and other regions of Ural are of particular importance, he said.

The head of state reminded that over the last five years, Belarus' trade with the Chelyabinsk oblast almost tripled and reached US$538 million in 2008. Belarus' trade with the Urals federal district increased by 170 per cent to a total of US$11.7 billion (34 per cent of Belarus' total trade with Russia).

The global financial and economic crisis, however, had disallowed producing better results this year.

"The existing level of manufacturing cooperation indicates that we make a common product. In this situation there should be no hardships regarding the access of commodities to each other's market," stressed the president.

"We should take measures to enable Belarusian and Russian manufacturers to enjoy state support without limitations, to have an equal access to government purchases and credit resources. We do it only like that in Belarus."

President Lukashenko said he was confident that the visit of the Chelyabinsk oblast delegation, led by Governor Piotr Sumin, would advance co-operation with this oblast and other subjects of the Russian Federation to a new level. - NNN-BELTA


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