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28 Mar 2019

Andrei Luchenok appointed Belarus’ Ambassador to UAE

Andrei Luchenok appointed Belarus’ Ambassador to UAE

MINSK, 28 March (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has appointed Andrei Luchenok Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the United Arab Emirates with a concurrent accreditation in the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, BelTA has learned.

Before his new appointment, Andrei Luchenok was Deputy Head of the Directorate-General – Head of the Department of Africa and the Middle East of the Directorate-General for Asia, Africa and Latin America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Andrei Rzheussky who currency heads the Belarusian diplomatic mission in India with concurrent accreditation in Sri Lanka will also have concurrent accreditation in Bangladesh and Nepal.

Yuri Gorelik was appointed Director of the Directorate-General for Foreign Economic Activity. Before the appointment he was Deputy Director of the Directorate-General for Foreign Economic Activity – Head of the Foreign Trade Policy Department.

Addressing the newly appointed ambassador to the UAE, Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that his priority task is to boost trade and economic cooperation with this region.

“I would not say that we have built powerful trade and economic partnerships with them over time. This is our number one task. Politics, diplomacy, respect, friendship with sheikhs – I have this all, and not only I. There is absolute trust. However, this region is not easy, not poor. We should expand our trade with them. This is your number one task there. Diplomacy and politics should be underpinned by economy, finance and trade. Otherwise, no one needs this diplomacy and this politics,” Alexander Lukashenko said.  

Speaking to the media after his new appointment, Andrei Luchenok said that the president set “specific, clear, practical tasks”. “This region is known to be a major donor of investment abroad. Our objective is to bring this investment to Belarus. Our second task is to increase Belarusian exports to this region and further, to other countries,” the diplomat noted.

In his words, Belarus’ trade with the UAE is estimated at about $70 million. The trade is dominated by Belarus’ exports. “However, we should take advantage of good political relations, mutual understanding and partnership that we have to boost the trade. We also need to diversify export, supply not only potash fertilizers and heavy machinery Belarus is famous for, but also food products,” the ambassador said. Belarus also ships milk powder to the UAE. In order to supply other products, Belarusian producers need to pass a certification procedure. “Arab countries put forward special requirements, the so-called halal certification procedure. Our companies are completing this procedure in order to start shipping to these countries,” Andrei Luchenok said.

Another important area of work is preparations for the Expo 2020 Dubai, a large-scale international expo where Belarus will have its own pavilion. “We have already done half of the work; we are designing our pavilion and getting our design project approved by Emirati authorities. We hope that the construction of this pavilion will be launched in the second half of the year, so that it will become fully operational by October 2020,” he said.

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