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7 Feb 2017

Lukashenko concerned over decline in trade in Belarus-Russia Union State, EEU

MINSK, 7 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko expressed his concern over the decline in the trade and economic cooperation in the Belarus-Russia Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) as he met with Sergei Sitnikov, Governor of Russia’s Kostroma Oblast, on 7 February, BelTA has learned.

“The mutual trade [between Belarus and Kostroma Oblast] used to exceed $100 million. That was higher than our trade with some countries. However, over the past two years we saw a considerable decline in trade, which I am very concerned about. A question arises: what for did we build the single economic space in the Union State and the EEU?” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko pointed out that over the past two years, the trade within the EEU suffered a significant decline. “I voice my concerns, but see certain misunderstanding or rejection from Moscow and even from some people in Minsk. Anyway, we need to talk about this, work on the points of discord and improve our relations. Meanwhile, instead of diffusing the tension, they have imposed a ban on the supplies of Belarusian beef to Russia. How should we understand this?” the Belarusian head of state noted.

Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that strong economic ties lay the basis for any relations. “We have always been friends, brothers, but to have lasting brotherly relations, we need to have a basis, and this basis is economy. Thanks God our economies are highly interdependent,” the head of state said.

He pointed out that many Belarus-made products contain a considerable amount of Russian raw materials and components. At the same time, stable operation of respective enterprises in Russia depends significantly on the situation at Belarusian plants.

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