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Opinions & Interviews

26 Oct 2018

Poroshenko: Trust between Ukraine and Belarus, between leaders

Poroshenko: Trust between Ukraine and Belarus, between leaders

GOMEL, 26 October (BelTA) – There is trust between Ukraine and Belarus, between leaders of the two countries, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said as he met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Gomel on 26 October, BelTA has learned.

“There is trust between Ukraine and Belarus, there is trust between Lukashenko and Poroshenko. I am absolutely convinced that this trust will lead to security, reliability, friendship and cooperation,” the Ukrainian leader noted.

He added that the border between Belarus and Ukraine should be the border of peace, friendship and reliability. “You and I are taking maximum effort to make it so,” Petro Poroshenko said.

The Ukrainian president thanked Alexander Lukashenko for the idea of holding the Forum of Regions. “Today we made sure that our decision to hold the forum was right. Six treaties have already been signed. More agreements will be concluded between our regions, which will help make the life of people in Ukraine and Belarus better,” he said.

Petro Poroshenko also drew attention to the warm welcome of the Ukrainian delegation, Gomel infrastructure, attention and hospitality from the locals. “This contradicts propaganda allegations about tensions between our nations. Our peoples are linked by bonds of friendship and cooperation. So are the presidents,” the Ukrainian leader stressed.

“We are absolutely convinced that the relations are on track towards serious growth,” Petro Poroshenko said. He highlighted the significant increase in trade between the two countries, calling it evidence that the parties do not build protective barriers but rather clear them. “Products of the Belarusian engineering industry, food and construction industries, and also road-building companies from Belarus feel very comfortable in Ukraine. Ukrainian export to Belarus has been growing nicely. It is very important for us to keep these trends in place,” the Ukrainian head of state said.

Human contacts are very important, Petro Poroshenko said. He cited the Days of Ukrainian Culture in Belarus. “We need to supervise this practice and continue it. Because relations between people are a guarantee of good relations between the countries,” the president said.

Petro Poroshenko noted that it was important that Ukraine and Belarus coordinate action, including on the external arena, in matters of security.

An agreement to hold the 1st Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine in Gomel in 2018 was reached during the official visit of the Belarusian president to Ukraine on 20-21 July 2017. The program of the two-day interregional forum includes exhibitions of products of enterprises of the two countries, a meeting of the Belarusian-Ukrainian Business Cooperation Advisory Council, business negotiations between representatives of Ukrainian and Belarusian companies, industry sections and meetings of expert working groups, a concert of friendship and other events.

In January-August 2018 the trade between Belarus and Ukraine totaled $3.66 billion, up 23.7% from the same period a year ago. The export made up $2.71 billion (up 23.5%).

In Belarus there are 295 Ukrainian-funded companies, including 122 joint ventures. In Ukraine there are eight joint plants assembling Belarusian machinery. On the whole, there are over 100 organizations of the Belarusian commodity distribution network in Ukraine.

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