20 Jan 2011 15:13

Russia-Belarus trade regains pre-crisis level - Putin

MOSCOW. Jan 20 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has affirmed a considerable growth of Russia-Belarus trade in recent months.

"Growing trade is the most important factor of Russia-Belarus economic relations," he told new Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich in Minsk on Thursday.

"It [trade] grew considerably and practically regained the pre-crisis level in January-November [2010]. We have no information from the later dates," he said.

In the words of Putin, bilateral trade stands at approximately $25 billion. "That is a very serious indicator, which testifies to the big development potential," he said.

Putin called attention to aspects, "which must please Belarusian partners - the deliveries of Belarusian commodities to the Russian market are on the rise, and the growth amounts to 47%."

Myasnikovich agreed that bilateral trade had grown by practically 20%. "However, Belarus still has a large deficit in bilateral trade," he said, noting that most of Belarusian imports from Russia were energy resources.