The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting.
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Golovchenko, colleagues, I am happy to welcome you. And first of all, I would like to convey the best wishes and warmest greetings to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko from President of Russia Vladimir Putin.
We are paying particular attention to promoting relations between our countries, between Russia and Belarus. These are relations of partnership and alliance. Our fraternal peoples are united by long-lasting bonds of friendship and understanding. We are interested in raising our cooperation to a new level and creating a common economic and social space in the framework of the Union State. We talk about this frequently and at length. This will be the best response to the illegal sanctions that are being imposed on us. A reliable foundation for cooperation has been created by carrying out the main tenets under the Treaty on the Union State and the 28 union programmes that the Supreme State Council endorsed in November last year with the participation of our presidents.
Our governments consistently implement our integration agreements. I know that our colleagues are engaged in intensive and effective cooperation. They have carried out almost half of the 989 items. We are monitoring this with digital technology.
Today, the West is intensifying its sanctions pressure on our countries. Unfriendly states are trying to cut us off from logistics chains and the international financial system to disrupt our production ties and eventually to reduce the living standards of our people. In these conditions, we suggest building up coordinated measures to protect the economic security and technological sovereignty of both Russia and Belarus.
It is important to build up the dynamics of trade and economic cooperation. Last year, our trade reached a record $38.5 billion and increased by almost 3 percent to over $18 billion in the first half of this year.
We continue implementing our large investment projects and expediting new initiatives. We will also improve the mechanism for the supply of goods and services and expand our import substitution programmes. Mr Golovchenko, we talked about these goals and our approaches at today’s restricted-attendance meeting.
We have been focusing on practical cooperation in industry, energy, the digital economy, agriculture, transport and many other areas. Organising the transiting of Belarusian exports via Russia is a good example of our cooperation. In January-July, the scale of these shipments almost doubled to about 3 million tonnes.
The recent Forum of the Regions in Grodno attended by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko gave a powerful impetus to the deepening of our cooperation. Interregional cooperation agreements signed on the sidelines of this forum are worth more than 60 billion roubles.
We have a busy agenda. We will discuss everything. I am willing to take part in all discussions. Mr Golovchenko, go ahead please.
Roman Golovchenko: Mr Mishustin and members of the delegations of Belarus and Russia, I am very happy to meet with you today on the sidelines of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting. We meet very often for obvious reasons linked with the difficult situation we are in. This notwithstanding, we are showing good results in the Belarusian and Russian economies despite the brutal, fierce pressure that is exerted on us.
The performance indicators in the first half of the year show that we are holding this pressure back and have already adapted to it. I will even adjust the figure you quoted. According to our information, trade in the first half of this year grew by 12.2 percent over the first half in 2021, and we have already approached almost $20 billion. You correctly cited the figures of the growth of cargo traffic via Russia’s territory. This shipping brings higher revenue for Russian ports and railways. Moreover, we are planning to increase these transits, especially since we have prepared for signing the next agreement on increasing shipments via the transport corridors through our countries. This one is regarding the southern regions, and I am convinced that the scale of our cargo traffic, our freight turnover will increase quite a bit.
In addition to this agreement, we will sign very serious documents that concern cooperation in microelectronics and relevant technology and electronic machine building, recognition of technological operations on the territory of the Union State and a common industrial policy, to name a few. These backbone companies are working for the practical benefit of economic entities.
As you know, we have carried out the necessary procedures to transfer the basic payments between us into roubles. This conversion has made our transactions and settlements much easier. I am convinced that the measures we carried out last year and in the first half of this year will produce the desired effect in the near future.
We have a number of current issues that I would like to discuss today. I am confident that, as always, we will find solutions to all issues.