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The meeting took place on the sidelines of the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

From the transcript:

Meeting of Mikhail Mishustin with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Roman Golovchenko

Mikhail Mishustin: Dear Roman Aleksandrovich, Dear friends!

I want to cordially greet you all and ask you to convey greetings and best wishes to the President of Belarus Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko from the President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and from me personally.

Our today’s meeting in Nur-Sultan is aimed at strengthening our integration ties in the format of the Eurasian Economic Union, ensuring the growth of trade and economic cooperation in the interests of the peoples of our states. And of course, not everyone likes it, the Western countries are trying to divide us, to interfere. But here, with our presence in this difficult time, we tell everyone that we are together. President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin gave detailed assessments of the current situation, he clearly outlined the tasks of our country and the characteristics of the current situation.

We sincerely value good-neighborly, allied, fraternal relations with our Belarusian friends. Our peoples are united by a common culture, historical values ​​and spiritual values. This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations and are interested in taking our cooperation to a new, higher level, strengthening integration in the Union State, and launching new joint projects. This will make it possible to form a common economic and social space in the interests, first of all, of the citizens of our countries. And this will probably be the best response to, among other things, the illegal sanctions of the West against Russia and Belarus.

Last year we made significant progress towards integration in the Union State. On a systematic basis, the main directions for the implementation of the provisions of the Union Treaty and the 28 adopted Union programs approved by the Presidents of the Russian Federation and Belarus on November 4, 2021 are being implemented.

In the coming period, it is necessary to focus our efforts on the implementation of integration agreements, to ensure control over the implementation of regulations and international treaties.

The Government of the Russian Federation has already established coordinated work in this area with its Belarusian counterparts.

As for trade and economic cooperation, we note that it is developing successfully, despite the unfavorable global situation and the pandemic. In 2021, our mutual trade increased by more than 34% compared to 2020 and amounted to $38.5 billion. We have exceeded the pre-pandemic level of 2019 quite seriously (the amount is $35.5 billion).

Russia ranks first in terms of accumulated investments in Belarus. You have about 2.4 thousand companies with Russian participation, and this number is growing. Major joint projects are being implemented in the field of automotive, agricultural machinery, and the logging industry. It is very important to create the most comfortable conditions for the business of our countries, to launch new cooperation projects.

The construction project of the Belarusian nuclear power plant is being successfully implemented. New opportunities are also opening up in other areas of the peaceful atom. First of all, I mean the creation of a center for nuclear research and technology on the basis of a Russian research reactor.

Last year, we fully restored air traffic. Citizens of Russia and Belarus fly without any restrictions to all airports, including those open for international flights. We try to develop contacts between people as much as possible, to strengthen interaction in the field of education, science and culture.

On Sunday, February 27, a referendum on the draft of a new constitution will be held in Belarus. And, of course, we wish our Belarusian friends a successful event.

Most recently, on February 18, in Moscow, Presidents Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko discussed the most important issues of our cooperation. I propose to focus the work of our governments on the implementation of the decisions that were taken by the heads of our states.

You have the floor, dear Roman Aleksandrovich.

Meeting of Mikhail Mishustin with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Roman Golovchenko

Roman Golovchenko: Thank you. Dear Mikhail Vladimirovich, members of the delegation. I am very glad to meet you again. For the first time this year, but we often communicate with you, the presidents communicate, we, the members of governments, are in constant contact, the highest dynamics in joint work. We have a permanent group that considers topical issues of interaction at the level of deputy prime ministers. Moreover, they often arise, and largely as a result of difficulties imposed on us from outside. For most of them, we find acceptable and profitable solutions for us. You said about the trade turnover, everything is absolutely correct. According to our statistics, it is even slightly higher, and this is the best trading result in the last nine years.

And this is all, as you rightly said, despite the ongoing and illegitimate sanctions and other attacks on both Belarus and Russia by the so-called collective West. Therefore, the way we are responding to this is probably an example of a successful partnership and allied relationship that is being tested and strengthened in this difficult environment. Today, the President of our country, holding a meeting with the security bloc, said that within the framework of allied obligations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, due to the fact that near our borders there is an ongoing accumulation of NATO forces and means, the Belarusian armed forces and other military formations ensure security on Western borders of the Union State. As the President said, not a single bullet or shell will hit the back of a Russian soldier from this direction.

Therefore, I think that by implementing the agreements we reached last year, which were sealed by a decree of the Supreme State Council, we will certainly reach new frontiers, and work in these areas has been organized. As we agreed, we have organized control and monitoring of implementation, and we regularly check how our agreements are being implemented.

Let me remind you that by the middle of this year, by July 1, we must conclude one of the most important agreements in this package – on the principles of levying indirect taxes. We agreed on one of the very important elements – an agreement on customs affairs. All issues were resolved in a constructive manner. And this, I think, is a good indicator that the work is organized effectively and that the principles we agreed on are working.

Of course, there are many difficulties, especially for the Republic of Belarus, which has long been subjected to pressure from outside. Nevertheless, once again I want to express my gratitude for the constructive, fraternal approach to resolving these complex issues. Especially during this period, which, apparently, will be difficult for the Union State as a whole, and for the economy of Belarus, and for the Russian economy, so I think it would not be superfluous to synchronize our approaches to anti-sanction measures. Today I propose to also talk about this, and, of course, taking the opportunity to discuss all those current issues, which, among other things, were discussed by the heads of state. So I suggest you get to work.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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