President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Friends,
Today, Mr Putin and I had a very constructive and substantive discussion concerning all areas of cooperation between Belarus and Russia, which was also attended by cabinet members from both sides. This was a trust-based dialogue that has taken shape and is supported by our nations, allowing us to reach significant results in all areas of our cooperation.
This visit by Mr Putin is taking place two decades after the formation of our two states and the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this time, we have reached certain results, which we just discussed; in politics, we have our alliance project, in the economy we have a yearly increase in turnover of nearly 40 per cent, and we are the Russian Federation’s sixth partner in terms of trade. Last year, our turnover was over $40 billion.
We have established very good relations with Russia’s regions. The governors visit us, and our governors and Belarusian cabinet members cooperate with specific companies and regions in the Russian Federation. We have a very intensive on-going dialogue on all issues, and today, we noted that there are no off-limits issues in our relations with our strategic partner.
”Our meeting was very business-minded, concrete and specific. We spoke as colleagues, as friends about all the issues and problems that interest both Belarus and Russia within the context of our integration efforts and bilateral relations.“
We spent a great deal of time today discussing problems pertaining to the Eurasian Union; we addressed problems in creating the Eurasian Economic Space – here, Belarus and Russia did not have any difference in opinion. I think the creation of a Eurasian Union is a matter of time and will be resolved in the near future.
Moreover, following the President of Russia’s pre-election statement proposing the creation of a common economic zone with the European Union spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok, in supporting this initiative, we spoke out about creating an integration of integrated unions, because we have a union, and so does the European Union, an integrated structure itself. And if we unite these integrated structures, from Lisbon to Vladivostok, we would have a common economic space. Given the processes that have been occurring recently, I think the goal we have set is not so distant.
Today, we discussed many concrete issues pertaining to relations between Belarus and Russia, ranging from the economy and political matters to the defence of our Union State and diplomatic issues.
Much has already been said about this meeting, and much more will be written. I will simply state right away: we discussed issues that will improve the lives of our people. We got together in order to make our peoples’ lives better without creating problems for anyone. And we did not diverge from these issues at all. We – both Russia and Belarus – want to live on our own accounts, without creating problems for other nations. I wanted to go ahead and say this. And we discussed all the issues in this context: from tariffs to common projects for creating joint Belarusian-Russian enterprises and holding companies on the territory of the Common Economic Space.
Mr Putin, I am very grateful to you for this visit. I told you this when we were driving and I want to repeat it in public: this visit is more important than many economic agreements between Belarus and Russia, as well as with other nations. This is a signal that we have a great future ahead of us. As for Belarus, we will follow this path admirably.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Thank you.
Mr Lukashenko, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Our meeting was very business-minded, concrete and specific. And, as usual in our meetings, it was very sincere. We spoke as colleagues, as friends, as comrades about all the issues and problems that interest both Belarus and Russia within the context of our integration efforts and bilateral relations.
In this regard, of course, I should say that the very fact of my first foreign visit to the brotherly nation of Belarus certainly reflects the particular nature of our relations. My meeting with Mr Lukashenko once again served as proof of our mutual readiness to develop these relations and imbue them with new context.ness-minded, concrete and specific. Andemen,
e have a great future ahead of us. As for Belarus, en Belarus and Russia, as we
During the talks, we had a detailed discussion of our prospects for developing economic ties. I want to let you know that we made a decision to offer the third credit tranche from the EurAsEC anti-crisis fund and we will begin detailed talks about a fourth tranche. We were pleased to note that this is possible, in a time-efficient and expedient manner, taking into account the positive dynamics of the Belarusian economy.
Our turnover volume also speaks to this. Mr Lukashenko already mentioned it. We had nearly $40 billion last year, and the growth in the first few months of this year is already 30 per cent. This is a very serious indicator indeed.
This result speaks to the fact that the integration processes, which are gaining momentum between our three nations – Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, – are drawing attention to themselves in a positive way.
”We once again confirmed that the cooperation strategy chosen was the right one and have agreed not to decrease the speed of moving to a qualitatively new level of integration – the Eurasian Economic Union.“
We once again confirmed that the cooperation strategy chosen was the right one and have agreed not to decrease the speed of moving to a qualitatively new level of integration – the Eurasian Economic Union.
We are expecting a serious return from implementing joint energy, engineering and advanced technology projects. In this context, I want to particularly highlight the project to construct a Belarusian nuclear power plant, which has a good chance of becoming the largest and most modern project in the history of bilateral relations.
We looked at potential directions for investment cooperation, including the creation of the Rosbelavto holding company, based on KAMAZ and MAZ assets. I am certain that if we come to an agreement, this will be a very good example for other sectors of the real economy.
We devoted significant attention to cooperation within the framework of regional alliances in the CIS in light of the anniversary session of the Collective Security Council of the CSTO and the informal CIS summit that was held two weeks ago in Moscow. We once again confirmed the similarity in our approaches to increasing the level of coordination and efficacy of collective work within the framework of these organisations. This is a priority both for Russia and for Belarus.
I also want to note our common views on current issues on the international agenda. Mr Lukashenko and I spoke about this, and we will continue the discussion in an informal setting.
I am certain that Russian-Belarusian relations have a great future. The President of Belarus and I just signed a joint statement that stresses the priority nature of our bilateral relations and our common aspirations toward active and fruitful work in all areas of our cooperation. In the near future, I plan to visit Astana, Kazakhstan, and Mr Nazarbayev and I will certainly discuss integration development prospects within the framework of the three states and moving, as I already said, in the direction of a Eurasian Union.
As our integration processes deepen, the unity of our nations will only grow stronger, opening opportunities to resolve long-term and current challenges.
I want to thank our Belarusian colleagues and you personally, Mr Lukashenko, for the warm welcome. Thank you very much for your attention.