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23 Mar 2016

Belarus-Russia regional cooperation grows stronger

VITEBSK, 23 March (BelTA) – Vitebsk and Beloyarsky District, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District-Ugra of Russia have outlined promising areas of cooperation in economic affairs and other ones. The relevant cooperation agreement was signed during the meeting at premises of the Vitebsk City Executive Committee on 23 March, BelTA has learned.

Head of the Beloyarsky District administration Sergei Manenkov said: “We have had mutual interest for a long time. We can offer silver fox fur, deer hides, which I am sure you fur factory will like. We can also sell you fish, including via your businessmen.” Apart from establishing ties between representatives of the Belarusian and Russian government agencies enabling mutually beneficial cooperation between representatives of the private sector and heads of state-run enterprises was mentioned as the main purpose of the visit. “Although the logistics distance is very large — nearly 3,000km — I am sure the two sides will benefit from it,” said the head of the Beloyarsky District administration.

Vitebsk Mayor Viktor Nikolaikin also believes that cooperation between Russian fur farms and the Vitebsk-based fur factory, which is now part of a footwear-manufacturing holding company and is being modernized, holds a lot of promise. Apart from that, Beloyarsky District residents are likely to buy ready-made products of Vitebsk companies such as fur products and footwear. The Mayor also noted mutual interest between the Vitebsk distillery and the alcohol retail chain in Beloyarsky. The relevant contracts may be signed soon.

Sergei Manenkov added that a lot of Belarus-made products are sold in Beloyarsky District. Apart from that, a huge retail and entertainment center is under construction. Its premises are open to Vitebsk companies. “Your manufacturers will be offered a unique opportunity to directly sell their products to our customers,” stressed the Beloyarsky District administration head. “I’ve been to Vitebsk many times. I am glad that the city develops rapidly. It may be more difficult to do that in crisis conditions. But the crisis will temper everyone, including Belarus and Russia. It will give an impulse to the development of the economies of the two countries.”

In his words, the sides have maintained tight cooperation in economic affairs for about 16 years. Long-term contacts connect the two sides in sports, particularly in boxing and taekwondo.

A delegation of Beloyarsky District, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District-Ugra, Russia is in Vitebsk on a working visit on 23-24 March. The signing of the cooperation agreement was the first important result of the visit. Both sides believe the document should have been signed earlier. Now the Vitebsk city administration and the Beloyarsky city administration are negotiating the signing of a twinning agreement. Apart from that, both sides mentioned the symbolism of signing the agreement on the eve of Day of Unity of Peoples of Belarus and Russia. In accordance with twinning and partnership agreements Vitebsk maintains tight cooperation in trade, economic, social and cultural affairs with eight cities and municipalities of Russia.

After the meeting in the city hall the Russian delegation is expected to visit Vitebsk enterprises. An excursion of the Marc Chagall museum will be arranged. On 24 March business meetings will be arranged in addition to a cultural and educational program. On 24 March the Russian delegation will go to the town of Tolochin where they will visit a nunnery.

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