Belarus already working with nine Russian ports, no problems with exports - PM
MOSCOW. Aug 15 (Interfax) - Belarus is already exporting its products through nine Russian ports and is not having problems shipping out goods, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said.
"As for marine transport, Belarus is now working with nine Russian ports. We are now going to Russian ports, both northern and southern, by automobile transport to China, by railway and automobile transport in the direction of the Persian Gulf, to countries in the Central Asian region. We're flying, maneuvering between all the banned zones," Golovchenko said on state TV channel Belarus 1.
"Right now, in principle, there are no problems with shipping or exporting Belarusian products. We're working further on reducing costs," he said.
At this point, "underdevelopment of railway infrastructure in the direction of China, Vietnam, Myanmar and other countries remains a bottleneck, so we are now working with our Russian and Kazakh colleagues on organizing balanced shipments in these directions from our countries without plugging this bottleneck," Golovchenko said.
He also said Belarus aims to increase exports to Russia and other Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries by 40%, "but at the same time no one is counting out our markets in America, Europe."
"We're not putting all of our resources, export flows into one basket. We see the potential of those markets that we, perhaps, did not fully develop taking into account our pursuit of balanced exports to all regions," Golovchenko said, adding that the lion's share of barriers in trade with Russia have been removed.
He said Ukraine was one of Belarus's key trade partners, but the situation has changed radically.
"We are now seeing losses from the Ukrainian market. This was one of our main customers, there were $3 billion, $4 billion in exports in some years. Now it's essentially zero amid the military operation there. Therefore, that which was shipped to Ukraine in the first half of last year, which was about $2.5 billion of products, about $2 billion of this amount has already been redirected to other markets. And, of course, we will increase the pace," Golovchenko said.
"Of course, right now all eyes are on the East and the South. We need to replace lost volumes from the market of Western Europe and Ukraine at all costs," Golovchenko said.