6 Oct 2009 21:42

Trade between Russia, Belarus drops to level of 4 years ago

NOVO-OGARYOVO. Oct 6 (Interfax) - In the first eight months of 2009 trade between Russia and Belarus fell to the 2005 level, said Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky.

Trade fell by over 40%, though fluctuations in Russia's and Belarus' gross domestic products are not so significant compared to the slump in bilateral trade, he said.

The key issue at the future session of the Union State's Council of Ministers will be the joint plan with Russia on tackling the global financial crisis, Sidorsky said.

Cooperation in the space industry should also be on the agenda of the Union State's government, he said. In the next three or four years Russia and Belarus could become leaders in this industry, in particular, in using space for Earth remote sensing, the Belarusian prime minister said.

The parties could also discuss their industrial cooperation, Sidorsky said. Bilateral cooperation between many industrial manufacturers exceeds 60%, he said.

"It would be good if we could discuss a number of issues concerning a possible increase in our trade in the remaining three months of this year," Sidorsky said.