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Opinions & Interviews

7 Feb 2018

PM: Belarus interested in constructive dialogue with Latvia

PM: Belarus interested in constructive dialogue with Latvia

MINSK, 7 February (BelTA) - Belarus is interested in maintaining a constructive dialogue with Latvia, Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said as he met with Latvian counterpart Maris Kucinskis in Minsk on 7 February, BelTA has learned.

Latvia has traditionally ranked among the important trade and economic partners of Belarus. In 2017, after a decline in previous years, the bilateral trade was back on the growth path. In January-November 2017 the trade totaled almost $400 million (up 27% over the same period a year earlier). “This is a good indicator, though it is far from those numbers that we had a few years ago,” the Belarusian head of government said. Andrei Kobyakov noted a high level of investment cooperation and growing number of joint ventures.

“Being neighbors and countries with high transit potential, we need to build a pragmatic, constructive dialogue seeking the compatibility and interoperability between the various integration processes on our continent,” Andrei Kobyakov noted.

The prime minister drew attention to the fact that transport and logistics have always been a strategic area of cooperation in the Belarusian-Latvian relations. The cooperation in the information and communication technology and tourism has also shown a positive momentum. Andrei Kobyakov informed the Latvian colleague of ordinance No. 8 and unprecedented conditions for business in the Hi-Tech Park. The Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone also offers attractive conditions. The Latvian delegation is scheduled to visit these two parks on 8 February.

Following today's talks, Belarus and Latvia plan to sign an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation, with the priority to be given to the commercialization of research. It is also important to cooperate closely in the protection and management of the natural heritage of Belarus and Latvia. The algorithm of this cooperation will be mapped out in the program of cooperation between the environmental departments of the two countries for 2018-2022.

Andrei Kobyakov noted the effective interaction between the defense departments, law enforcement, border guards, customs authorities and rescue services of Belarus and Latvia. The agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident, exchange of information and cooperation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection, and also the agreement on cooperation in the field of aviation search and rescue of civil aircraft are seen as important for security and confidence building in the region.

“I am sure that the agreements reached during the visit to Belarus will give further impetus to the development of cooperation between Belarus and Latvia and will certainly contribute to stability and sustainable social and economic development our countries,” Andrei Kobyakov said.

Maris Kucinskis, for his part, noted that this is the first of the Latvian prime minister to Belarus in 9 years. “I am very glad that our relationship is characterized by an active political dialogue. For Latvia this visit is very important,” he said.


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