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26 Jun 2020

Lukashenko: There will be changes but they have to be civilized

Lukashenko: There will be changes but they have to be civilized

SOLIGORSK, 26 June (BelTA) – There will definitely be changes in Belarus but they should start and proceed in a civilized manner. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he visited the Belkali-Migao enterprise on 26 June, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted he often visits Minsk Oblast because it is a typical region where there is everything for him to learn how the country lives.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I've given a very clear signal to the power vertical and all the government agencies, to executives and officials that we will proceed calmly in line with Belkali's development principle: if we see that we can double our investments, we will invest. Nobody here shouted about some investments. We calmly built these warehouses and new enterprises. We make a product that is needed in all parts of the planet including together with the People's Republic of China. In this regard we will proceed from life. Certainly, I am not going to radically rebuild the country, privatize things as some suggest, and bend people. Having to live in an age of unnecessary changes is the most difficult thing. There will definitely be changes but they should start and proceed in a civilized manner starting with the Constitution.”

Speaking about privatization, the president stressed he was not ready to break the social structure in the country. “I cannot allow the privatization of, for instance, Belaruskali. There is no need to privatize it because it works effectively, just the way the country needs. Privatization does not always change things for the better. I am afraid of job losses. We've already seen those. It is good that we didn't go for universal privatization when an investor comes and he doesn't need 20,000 workers (like here), he doesn't need assets that don't generate revenue such as kindergartens and the rest. I don't need that kind of privatization,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also pointed out that the mineral resources Belarus has belong to the entire nation. “We have not privatized subsurface resources and are not going to, including oil, natural gas, potassium, salt, gravel, and the rest. We cannot allow it today,” he stressed. “However hard things can be, we are going to hang by the skin of our teeth to preserve jobs. Without this enterprise there will be no Soligorsk at least and the country will have a hard time. I think you are always one of the top five tax payers. That's all there is to it.”

The Belarusian-Chinese joint venture Belkali-Migao was built at the industrial site of Belaruskali's fourth mine administration to make potassium nitrate. Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about the financial and economic performance of the key manufacturer of potash fertilizers. The president was informed about construction phases and the first results achieved by the new enterprise, peculiarities of the manufacturing process. Belaruskali's other investment projects were also discussed during the visit of the head of state.

Belaruskali Director General Ivan Golovaty said that the global output of potash fertilizers went down in H1 2020. Belaruskali was not an exception. Belaruskali intends to make up for it in H2 2020. The annual export volume should be on par with last year's.

The decision to set up an enterprise to make potassium nitrate in Belarus was made three years ago. An agreement between the Chinese company Migao Corporation and Belaruskali was signed in May 2017. The joint venture OOO Belkali-Migao was established for the sake of implementing the project. As much as Br238 million was invested in the new enterprise. The enterprise is capable of making 80,000 tonnes of potassium nitrate and 62,000 tonnes of complex nitrogen-potassium fertilizers per annum. At present the average workload of the enterprise stands at 70%.

Potassium nitrate is a specialized chlorine-free water-soluble mineral fertilizer. Only a handful of companies make this product. In Soligorsk potassium nitrate is made using Chinese technologies and Belarusian raw materials and imported ones. Agrochemical trials of the new fertilizer are in progress in order to expand its usage. Test batches have already been shipped to Kazakhstan, Greece, Peru, Morocco, and Australia.

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