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Opinions & Interviews

31 Mar 2017

Manufacturing cooperation ties between regions of Belarus, Russia noted

Manufacturing cooperation ties between regions of Belarus, Russia noted

MOGILEV, 31 March (BelTA) – Regions of Belarus and Russia have accumulated a considerable experience in industrial cooperation, BelTA learned from Alexander Solovyov, Head of the Directorate for Relations with Russian Regions of Belarus’ Foreign Ministry, during the 9th meeting of the Belarusian and Russian sister cities in Mogilev.

Alexander Solovyov dedicated his speech to Belarus-Russia interregional cooperation. He underlined that Belarus had always seen promotion of comprehensive cooperation with Russia as a priority. “Since Belarus gained independence, it has managed to maintain and strengthen the ties with fraternal Russia and lay a solid foundation for further cooperation,” Alexander Solovyov pointed out. “During the recent years the Belarusian and Russian regions have stepped up cooperation. The countries have strengthened interregional ties. Exchanges of delegations have become more frequent.”

The Belarusian government keeps track of interregional cooperation with Russia. Heads of ministries, concerns, oblast administrations and the Minsk City Executive Committee coordinate matters of cooperation with 57 Russian regions. “It may safely be said that the practice of assigning Belarusian government officials to take care of cooperation with specific Russian regions will be continued,” Alexander Solovyov remarked.

According to him, it is very important to keep maintaining interregional contacts at a high level. In 2016 Belarusian government officials paid 148 visits to Russian regions. Belarus received 89 Russian regional delegations, 25 of them were headed by governors. The countries held sessions of 44 working groups on interregional cooperation and signed 135 documents regarding certain plans of liaison arrangements.

“The current network of interregional ties is a viable mechanism that helps resolve a wide range of practical problems in various areas,” Alexander Solovyov said. “Trade and economic collaboration is still a priority. The volume of trade with certain Russian federal subjects, such as Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, Tyumen Oblast, Smolensk Oblast, and Moscow Oblast, Tatarstan exceeds our trade with many countries by far. The Belarusian and Russian regions have accumulated significant experience in industrial cooperation, set up strong production chains in mechanical engineering, petrochemistry, pharmaceutics and other sectors.”

According to Alexander Solovyov, boosting interregional bilateral ties will help promote import substitution, encourage export-oriented enterprises and overcome the technology gap between Belarus and Western countries.

Alexander Solovyov believes that strong legal framework is a solid basis for building the infrastructure of bilateral cooperation. It comprises about 80 agreements on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation between the Belarusian government and Russian regional administrations as well as around 300 agreements between Belarusian regions and Russian federal subjects and municipal entities.

Regional cooperation is a solid basis for Belarus-Russia relations. Both Belarus and Russia aspire to step up collaboration and expand its possibilities,” Alexander Solovyov said. He thanked the Russian party for constructive approach to this work at all levels and expressed his confidence that the meeting of sister cities would help intensify Belarus-Russia cooperation.

The meeting in Mogilev is held under the auspices of the Belarusian public organization Sister Cities. All in all, the event gathered more than 180 participants from 35 Russian and 24 Belarusian cities. Participants of the meeting put a special focus on cooperation of sister cities, experience of Mogilev and its partners in promoting integration processes.

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