The High-Level Group of the Union State Council of Ministers has held a regular meeting.
On 2 June, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk and Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to the Russian Federation Dmitry Krutoi, who has the powers of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, co-chaired a meeting of the High-Level Group of the Union State Council of Ministers in Moscow. The meeting participants also included State Secretary of the Union State Dmitry Mezentsev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Belarus Boris Gryzlov, and representatives of several Russian and Belarusian ministries and agencies.
The co-chairs of the High-Level Group reviewed the progress of joint efforts aimed at boosting Russia-Belarus trade and economic cooperation.
“We continue to pursue the path of integration, development of bilateral relations, and further trade and economic cooperation,” Alexei Overchuk said, adding that in this year’s first quarter alone, mutual trade showed an increase of 18.7% as compared to the similar period in 2022.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted the importance of efforts to develop industrial cooperation between Russian and Belarusian enterprises and to expand interregional cooperation. Over 80 Russian regions maintain trade and economic ties with the Republic of Belarus, whose major trade partners include Moscow and the Moscow Region, St Petersburg, the Republic of Tatarstan, and Smolensk, Kaliningrad, Bryansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Orenburg regions.
“Under the import substitution policy, companies from 66 Russian regions and their Belarusian partners signed 2,900 trade contracts worth over 75 billion Russian roubles between March 2022 and April 2023,” Alexei Overchuk said.
The meeting participants also focused on cooperation in transport, construction, customs regulations, healthcare, education, and culture.
“We addressed both very specific situations, such as mutual settlements between particular enterprises, and more global problems. There is the issue of promoting and creating conditions for the development of new competitive products, including in healthcare. Therefore, the agenda is very extensive, which shows both the scope and closeness of ties between our nations. Today’s agenda also included social sector issues; we came to the conclusion that many of them should be handled in a more direct and prompt way rather than through our group’s regular meetings,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.
The parties also reviewed the implementation of the Union State’s protocol decisions and continued preparations for the meetings of the Union State Council of Ministers and the Supreme State Council.
Following the meeting, they instructed members of the Standing Committee of the Union State to coordinate efforts to implement the agreements reached.