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18 May 2017

Lukashenko awards Order of Friendship of Peoples to Tomislav Nikolic

MINSK, 18 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko presented the Order of Friendship of Peoples to Serbia President Tomislav Nikolic at the Palace of Independence on 18 May, BelTA has learned.

The state award was presented in recognition of Tomislav Nikolic’s personal contribution to the enhancement of peace, friendly relations and cooperation between Belarus and Serbia.

At the one-on-meeting Alexander Lukashenko and Tomislav Nikolic will discuss the current state of Belarus-Serbia relations, the implementation of investment projects and the results of cooperation in the past years. The presidents will also exchange opinions about the political agenda and other important issues.

Up to the present moment, the Belarusian president has visited Serbia four times, the Serbian leader has paid three visits to Minsk.

Belarus and Serbia productively cooperate in international organizations providing assistance to each other. The cooperation between Belarusian and Serbia has intensified in recent years. Fifteen Belarusian towns, including all oblast capitals, have established twin-town relations with Serbian towns.

In 2009-2015, the trade turnover between the two countries went up 4.7 times to exceed $250 million. In January-March 2017, the bilateral trade made up $54.5 million, up 25.6% in comparison with the same period of 2016. Belarus’ export to Serbia increased by 59.6% to $28.4 million.

A few enterprises with the participation of the Serbian capital have been registered in Belarus. There are assembly facilities for Belarusian tractors and buses in Serbia. An assembly plant for low-capacity tractors was established at the premises of Belarus-Agropanonka in 2014. The parties are mulling over new joint industrial cooperation projects.

Belarus also continues cooperation with Serbian partners as part of the Mayak Minsk and Minsk Mir projects.

On 2 April, Serbia hosted the presidential election. Aleksandar Vucic, current prime minister and leader of the Serbian Progressive Party, won the election. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 31 May 2017. The tenure of Tomislav Nikolic who did not run for the second term will end the same day.

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