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Opinions & Interviews

19 Jun 2018

Russia, Belarus set to strengthen strategic partnership

Russia, Belarus set to strengthen strategic partnership

MINSK, 19 June (BelTA) – Russia and Belarus are determined to strengthen strategic partnership, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told reporters following the session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Minsk on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

The Russian leader informed that the session reviewed the work of the Union Sate and outlined new development goals. “The joint declaration that has just been signed reaffirms the commitment to strengthen and expand strategic partnership between Russia and Belarus,” he emphasized.

Vladimir Putin noted that a special focus was made on economic cooperation. “It yields good results within the framework of the Union State. I mean, first of all, dynamic growth of mutual trade and investment,” he said. The bilateral trade stood at $32.4 billion in 2017. “Mutual supplies have increased across all product categories – from agricultural produce to products with a high added value,” the Russian leader noted.

He drew attention to the fact that the Supreme State Council charted a list of priority actions to promote the Union State development in 2018-2022. “The priority measures include efforts to improve business climate, remove remaining barriers and obstacles for the free movement of goods, capital and workforce and measures to approximate the legal framework. Russia and Belarus are determined to pursue a coordinated macroeconomic policy, as well as a monetary, currency and tax policy,” the Russian president noted.

In his opinion, energy remains one of the most important areas of the Belarusian-Russian cooperation. “Russia is Belarus’ reliable energy supplier. In the first quarter of this year Russia delivered 4.5 million tonnes of oil and 6 billion cubic meters of gas to Belarus,” the Russian leader said. He also spoke about Russia’s participation in the projects to upgrade the Belarusian gas pipelines and to build the nuclear power plant in Belarus, which will fully satisfy the growing energy needs of the country.

“We have agreed with the Belarusian partners to intensify cooperation in the manufacturing industry, to increase the production of high-tech goods. Work will be stepped up to attract resources of Russian and Belarusian banks and private investors to finance high-tech projects,” Vladimir Putin noted. He also spoke about the importance of mutual cooperation in humanitarian and cultural affairs.

The Russian president drew attention to the fact that, in general, a wide range of issues related to foreign policy, defense and security in the Union State was discussed at the meeting of the Supreme State Council and during the bilateral talks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Alexander Lukashenko for the organization of today’s meeting and the atmosphere that was created to achieve the existing arrangements.

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