31 Mar 2022 12:50

Lukashenko suggests creating joint ventures with Russia instead of 'babbling about union state'

MINSK. March 31 (Interfax) - Joint ventures need to be created instead of babbling about the Union State and a common currency, the economy will ensure the needed level of integration, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"We need to create joint ventures. Then there will be no babbling about some union state, a common currency, etc. The economy will take us to that level and will produce what should exist between our states. The economy is the foundation of any relations. We are working in that direction," Lukashenko was quoted as saying by his presidential press service at a meeting with the Penza region's Governor Oleg Melnichenko in Minsk on Thursday.

"A special track, and the Russian president and I constantly emphasize that, is active creation of joint ventures," Lukashenko said.

Belarus was careful about giving foreign companies access to joint work at large industrial enterprises, he said.

"We were not eager to let foreigners in there. Therefore, the sanctions that were imposed didn't hit us as hard as, for example, Kamaz. The Germans, in particular, had entered there. We weren't very active on this track for our machine-building, either. Germans worked here as well. And Maz-Man and Neoplan at one time at Maz. The contract was over, I shook hands with them and told them thank you, we will continue developing on our own. No matter what the costs, all these difficulties, problems. By the way, we promoted such cooperation tracks in Russia, too. But your people who were in charge then said it would be such technologies, such a blessing if Germans or Brits came," Lukashenko said.

"Therefore, we reached an agreement with the Russian president that they are welcome to use everything necessary in areas where we are more competent. We should use the advanced technologies available in Russia," Lukashenko said.