MINSK, 13 April (BelTA) — The potential for cooperation between Belarus and Tatarstan is enormous, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Head of Russia’s Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in Minsk on 13 April, BelTA has learned.
“I am sincerely glad to welcome you in Belarus, in Minsk. You are true friends of the Belarusian people. I have been watching the development of your region for a long time. Successes are impressive and inspire us to work with Kazan more actively,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Besides, we have very businesslike and productive relations. The potential for our relations is huge,” he said.
The president added that he was always amazed at how similar Tatarstan is to Belarus. “If I did not know I was flying over Tatarstan, I would think it was the nature of Belarus,” he said.
A Belarusian delegation headed by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko has recently visited Tatarstan. The parties defined specific areas of cooperation.
Petrochemistry accounts for about 50% of trade between Minsk and Kazan today. “The growth of trade by more than 5%, up to $1 billion, in 2022 is not a bad figure. However, it does not fully reflect our capabilities,” the president said. “Petrochemistry is just one area of cooperation. We were right to have not restricted ourselves to petrochemistry when working out a cooperation plan,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the parties should expand the range of mutual supplies, cooperation and joint ventures. “If you have any interests, we will definitely work in this direction,” the president said. “Information technology and digital economy offer great opportunities. You know our capabilities. If we cooperate with you here, we will also get a good effect in the future,” he said.
The head of state emphasized a high level of humanitarian cooperation between Belarus and Tatarstan. In his words, the high level of interest of Tatarstan residents in the events of the Days of Belarusian Culture in 2022 confirms the importance of the cultural exchanges, preservation of traditions of our peoples and of course, common historical memory. “We are happy to host the Days of Tatarstan Culture in our country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president also thanked the head of Tatarstan for the warm welcome and support of the Belarusian team in Kazan at the international Friendship Games last year. “We will not leave a favor unanswered,” he stressed.
According to the head of state, the list of areas the parties can cooperate in is limitless. Aleksandr Lukashenko is sure that the current visit of Tatarstan’s delegation will be quite productive and will contribute greatly to the current bilateral trade. “We have tremendous opportunities,” the Belarusian leader said.