Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English
Seventy Russian and every Belarusian region were represented at the 6th Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions. Attendees included more than a thousand delegates from the two countries, including official delegations from the upper houses of the parliaments.
The forum is taking place in St Petersburg on July 16–18 under the auspices of the Russian Federation Council and the Belarusian Council of the Republic. The previous forum was held in 2018 in Mogilev. The forum was held for the first time in 2014 in Minsk.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am happy to welcome all of you to the 6th Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions here in St Petersburg. Regular meetings between representatives of regional and local government bodies, business communities, educators, scientists and cultural workers play a great role in developing friendly relations between Russia and Belarus.
Forum co-chairs Valentina Matviyenko and Mikhail Myasnikovich, other speakers and all the participants shared their in-depth opinions, the main results of your work, discussions, decisions and cooperation plans.
I want to stress that Belarus is Russia’s closest ally and strategic partner and our relations are based on the principles of neighbourliness, mutual respect and consideration for each other’s interests.
Our countries are strengthening political and economic cooperation within the Union State, which is marking its 20th anniversary this year. Russia and Belarus are largely involved in the Eurasian Economic Union and building common commodity, service, capital and labour markets. We closely cooperate within the framework of other regional organisations, including the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
I want to note that last year our mutual trade increased by almost 10 percent to $30.5 billion. Russia accounts for about a half of all Belarusian foreign trade. Our country is also the largest source of cumulative direct investment in the Belarusian economy, equal to almost $4 billion.
Russian and Belarusian regions are bound by over 350 agreements aimed at expanding cooperation in industry, agriculture, construction, pharmaceuticals and transport. Quite a few interregional documents were signed during this Forum as well. We hope that their implementation will facilitate further consolidation of the Russia-Belarus partnership across all areas of focus.
To be continued.