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5 Oct 2015

Belarus interested in development projects on Russia’s Sakhalin Island

MINSK, 5 October (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in taking part in projects to create outstripping social and economic development territories on Russia’s Sakhalin Island. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Governor of Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast Oleg Kozhemyako on 5 October, BelTA has learned.

According to the head of state, Belarus is interested in projects meant to create outstripping social and economic development territories on Sakhalin. Alexander Lukashenko said he believes plans have been made for 29 projects like that. The President assured that the Russian region will not have problems with Belarusian partners. Alexander Lukashenko mentioned that primarily state-run Belarusian companies will help implement those projects. “Guarantees of our government in this regard mean a lot,” said the President.

Manufacturing cooperation, agriculture, and civil engineering can become priority avenues of cooperation. According to the head of state, Belarus is ready to help Sakhalin Oblast modernize its agribusiness.

Belarusian companies are also ready to take an active part in the construction of motorways and logistics centers in Sakhalin Oblast. Cooperation in passenger transport, including vehicles powered by gas engines, looks promising. According to Alexander Lukashenko, Sakhalin Oblast can count on Belarusian technologies, equipment, machines, project and engineering services as well as consumer goods in the course of implementation of programs in the region. The head of state underlined that in the current complicated economic conditions Belarus offers very profitable financial schemes to buyers of Belarusian products.

Alexander Lukashenko congratulated Oleg Kozhemyako on winning the governor election. In the past Oleg Kozhemyako was the governor of Amur Oblast, which has become a leading trade partner of Belarus in the Far East Federal District over the last three years. Alexander Lukashenko said he was confident that the successful experience of cooperation with Belarus will allow changing the state of affairs with regard to trade with Sakhalin. For now Belarus’ trade with Sakhalin Oblast is insignificant — close to $2-4 million per annum. Geographical distance is a factor as well as complicated logistics and difficult climatic conditions. Nevertheless, there is interest in stepping up interaction. It is confirmed by the fact that an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation with Sakhalin Oblast was signed during the second Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia in Sochi, reminded the Belarusian head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko said: “It is generally acknowledged that Sakhalin boasts rich natural resources. Major comprehensive international projects to extract and transport hydrocarbons are implemented on the island. The exploration of offshore fields represents a unique opportunity for developing the region’s infrastructure.”

In turn, Oleg Kozhemyako noted that he made sure of the reliability of Belarusian partners and the quality of Belarusian products, machines in particular, when he was the Amur Oblast governor.

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