President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko,
Thank you very much for coming here, to the Russian Far East, to a project that is still under construction but is already working, our new Vostochny Cosmodrome. You have seen the scale of the project.
It is symbolic that we are meeting here on April 12, Cosmonautics Day, because very many things in the life of the former Soviet Union, in our lives and in the life of our generations, are associated with that day, April 12, 1961. It was a day of triumph for the Soviet Union, the day of the first man in space, the first manned flight. It is pleasant that we are talking about continuing our cooperation today, under new conditions, based on the achievements reached in the previous decades and the latest best practices.
I am referring to the creation of a new satellite for high-resolution remote sensing of the Earth and our future joint project on plasma engine, which we can make use of; it is a highly promising area. Of course, there is also the construction of the cosmodrome – we need good construction professionals, with high competencies and good technologies. Thanks to your efforts, Belarus has not only preserved all these resources but is actively developing them, and we can use them to address our common goals, which will undoubtedly boost the development of our economies and high technologies in our countries.
Of course, I would like to use this occasion, our meeting today, to talk about our continued cooperation in the spheres we have outlined for the further development of the Union State. There is still much to do.
Despite the so-called external pressure, our economic relations are growing successfully. Our trade has reached nearly US$40 billion or more precisely US$38 billion, which is a very good indicator. Belarus is one of Russia’s leading trade partners.
Moreover, the current circumstances and external pressure offer us new opportunities to make use of all our potential capabilities to support each other and to provide unconditional support to our development, including in such high-tech spheres as space exploration.
This is in addition to [our cooperation in] agriculture and industry. We have done a great deal over the past years to boost our cooperation. Essentially, we have opened up our market to Belarusian goods. I believe that it is a very good pillar of cooperation on both sides.
I would also like to mention our cooperation in energy, including nuclear energy (we are completing a major project in Belarus) and hydrocarbons, that is, oil and gas. There are issues we need to consider and discuss, including industry, and not only the production of agricultural equipment but also many other branches, mechanical engineering, namely heavy machine building.
I am delighted to see you. Welcome.
To be continued.