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Six Belarusian districts are planning to twin with Lipetsk Oblast of Russia in 2022, Vice Governor of Russia's Lipetsk Oblast Sergei Kurbatov told BelTA.
Sergei Kurbatov noted that the current visit is aimed at expanding the horizon of cooperation between Russia and Belarus as much as possible. "This is the need of the hour and in our mutual interest. Our task is to find new areas for partnership in terms of import substitution and manufacture of new products. Economic cooperation aside, we are kin people and close cultures. Our task is to advance this cultural interaction. In this regard, agreements on twinning are very important,” Sergei Kurbatov noted.
Six districts of Russia's Lipetsk Oblast and six districts of Belarus' Gomel Oblast and Brest Oblast will sign twinning agreements this year. The first agreement was signed at a meeting in the Finance Ministry of Belarus on 28 April. According to the vice governor, a Belarusian delegation plans to visit the region on 9 May where another similar document will be signed. The rest of the agreements are currently in the works. "We are planning to sign them in the third quarter of 2022," Sergei Kurbatov added.
Lipetsk Oblast is an industrial and agricultural hub. "The first large cluster in which we plan to cooperate with Belarus is industry. We have quite unique production facilities in the Lipetsk special economic zone. We are well aware that manufacturers in Belarus make very competitive and high-quality products. Taking into account the current restrictions, we are facing difficulties with the replacement of some component parts. Lipetsk Oblast trade with Belarus quite actively. We supply metal and metal products, we purchase equipment. Not so long ago we bought the first MAZ bus,” Sergei kurbatov said.
Belarusian Finance Minister Yuri Seliverstov, in turn, noted that meetings with Russian partners were rare due to the pandemic. Today visits are made regularly. "We discussed cooperation in mechanical engineering with representatives of Lipetsk Oblast. Like most of our Russian colleagues, they will tour the mechanical engineering companies such as MAZ, MTZ, and Amkodor. They have specific offers in terms of purchasing our products. They aim for constructive cooperation," the finance minister said. “The Russian delegation is also planning to make visits to the Minsk City Hall and the Minskzelenstroy city landscaper to get familiar with the local city improvement practices."
Belarus imports a fairly large amount of products from Lipetsk Oblast. Belarus seeks to increase its exports to the Russian region.