Negotiations with President of Russia Vladimir Putin

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

29 December 2018

It is necessary to continue working to resolve existing problems on the Belarusian-Russian agenda. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement during negotiations with President of Russia Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin on 29 December.
The Belarusian head of state thanked the Russian leader for extending the invitation on New Year’s eve. “I was joking that we are fed up with each other. Maybe we will never be fed up with each other because there are matters that need discussing. It is our job. Indeed, last time we agreed that we are going to seriously talk about our future coexistence in this difficult world. It is unavoidable because many problems should be resolved bearing future in mind,” stated the Belarusian leader.
The Belarus President noted that after the meeting on 25 December the sides had been working on matters concerning the emerging bilateral group and on the topics that needed to be discussed so that they would no longer stand in the way of integration. “We’ve set up a group similar to yours. We’ve made similar decisions on the composition and the leadership of the group. I think that after the Christmas festivities we are ready to work just like Russians are. Moreover, all the matters are stipulated by the Belarus-Russia Union State Treaty. We recounted them last time. It is good that we are about to begin resolving these issues at last,” noted Alexander Lukashenko.
At the beginning of the meeting Vladimir Putin also remarked that it was the second meeting with the Belarusian head of state over a short period of time. “As we’ve agreed, we are setting up a working group to further advance our ties in economy and other areas. Following your proposal we will work on guiding the development of our plans in the construction of the UnionState. I suggest we should once again talk about it today,” said the Russian President. “We will compare notes on how work continues in the areas we agreed to put more effort in during the previous meeting.”
The heads of state offered New Year greetings to each other. Alexander Lukashenko said: “I would like to congratulate you, your friends and family on the New Year. I would like to congratulate our Russian brothers on this most desired holiday.”
In turn, Vladimir Putin offered his New Year greetings to the Belarusian head of state and Belarusian citizens. He wished them happiness and luck in the new year.

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Nationwide New Year’s ball in the Palace of Independence

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

28 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the first nationwide New Year’s ball in the Palace of Independence on 28 December.
Among them are recipients of scholarships from the special fund of the Belarus President for the social support of talented students, winners of presidential scholarships, participants of national scientific contests, winners and prize holders of numerous creative international and national competitions and festivals.Opening the ball, the head of state said that he was happy to see talented, graceful and inspired young people in the Palace of Independence. “Thanks to you, this austere hall of the Palace of Independence has become informal and elegant,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
This is the first time that Belarus has arranged a classical New Year’s Ball at the official level reviving the beautiful tradition of days gone by. “Back then these social events were almost the only place where young people could socialize. Today these places are many. But you know, you can recognize a person only by looking into their eyes. I very much hope that you will make good reliable friends here, and this will be the beginning of a good tradition of the sovereign and independent Belarus,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko added that the young people present at the ball in the Palace of Independence were not random invitees. “This ball is a token of appreciation of your diligence, hard work, excellence in studies, and your creativity. The best of the best are present here today. You are the most active and progressive part of our population,” the head of state said.
The President admitted that the government and young Belarusians may not always see eye to eye. In his opinion, it is only natural. “I’d say it is a classic relation between elder and younger people, fathers and children,” explained the head of state. “On the whole, the most important thing is that we look in the same direction – the future of our Belarus.”
Alexander Lukashenko stressed he was absolutely sure of it because he had talked to young Belarusians a lot in 2018 and these meetings had lived up to his expectations. “You are the future of our country. And you understand that success is all about labor, the knowledge of what you want from life.”
On New Year’s eve Alexander Lukashenko wished young Belarusians to set the most grandiose goals and even unattainable goals before them. “If you lose this time, you will accomplish nothing in your life. You may not reach the heights you aspire to right away, but I am sure you will always reach the peak,” concluded the head of state.

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New Year party for children as part of Our Children charity campaign

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

27 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the New Year party for children as part of the Our Children charity campaign on 27 December.
“Dear friends, you are the main treasure of Belarus. These are not just beautiful words. There are love, care and the desire to protect you behind them,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “These are natural emotions evoked by our babies and older children.”
The President said that it is a big honor and responsibility for him to attend New Year parties for children. “For me personally this is an emotional mission. It is the greatest pleasure for me to bring fairytale to children’s lives, to see their smiles and joy. As President I am happy for millions of children living in our country,” the head of state said.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, nothing is more important for him than peaceful and happy childhood. “Every President, every head of state, every executive of any level in any country is happy when children live in a peaceful country,” the President noted.
“Last year journalists from all over the world often showed the eyes of children frightened by bombs and bullets. This is not childhood. This is not even the youth of these children. This is their aging caused by the erratic actions of adults,” Alexander Lukashenko believes. “Therefore, the main thing is peaceful and happy childhood. And we, adults, must do our best to take care of your peaceful childhood. And then your children will have happy childhood too.”
The head of state remarked that adults have many reasons to be proud of the younger generation of Belarusians. “These include your successful participation in various international contests, competitions, Olympiads. I was pleased to learn that our young Belarusians took an active part in various events during the Year of Native Land, did their best to beautify their towns, big and small villages,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko remarked that these deeds will be always remembered by children. He thanked young Belarusians for their efforts. “The entire history of our state relies on this tradition of continuity, respectful attitude to people,” the head of state said.
He told children that interesting and eventful lives are ahead of them. There will always be close and caring people around them. “I want you to realize the value of things that you have, the value of life, an independent country, peaceful skies, good people who you have already met and will meet in the future. It is very important to have certain life goals at your age, to do everything to accomplish these goals, to be grateful to people who support you and make your lives better,” the President added.
The head of state wished the children joyful winder holidays and a Happy New Year. “Try to use these winter holidays in a way to feel that you became a little bit higher, smarter, wiser when the holidays are over. May this New Year bring you many reasons for good mood, may all your dreams come true,” he added. Alexander Lukashenko also wished a Happy New Year to the children’s parents, teachers and close people.
The New Year party is the central event of the Our Children charity campaign. The event has brought together over 2,300 children from all regions of Belarus. These include orphans and children from foster families, children of refugees, students of cadet schools, winners of international, national, and regional academic excellence competitions, creative contests, sports competitions, and other kids. The New Year party at the Palace of the Republic in Minsk had a versatile cultural program. The children also received presents from the Belarusian President.
The charity campaign kicked off in Belarus on 10 December and will wrap up on 11 January. Heads of government agencies and company chiefs, leaders of public associations visit children’s facilities and give presents to them. Orphans, children from big families and foster families, and children with special needs are in the focus of this campaign. Public associations and other organizations also take part in the charity campaign.

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Greetings to actor Gerard Depardieu

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

Greetings to actor Gerard Depardieu | Events | The Official Internet Portal of the President of the Republic of Belarus

27 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has congratulated actor Gerard Depardieu on his 70thbirthday.
“Thanks to your outstanding artistic abilities, you have won the hearts of numerous fans both in France and far beyond its borders. Films and performances with your participation are classics of the world cinematography and theatre art,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko added that the actor is well known in Belarus as a specialist deeply involved in his work. The president expressed confidence that the talent and professionalism of Gerard Depardieu will be in demand many years ahead, and his creative work will be an example for many generations.

© 2018, The Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus

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Talks with Russia President Vladimir Putin

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

25 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said that it is possible to reach an agreement on disputable issues in Belarus-Russia relations as they met in the Kremlin on 25 December.
The Belarusian head of state agreed with the Russian President that some issues are inevitable in the bilateral relations as the two countries maintain extensive and comprehensive cooperation. “Let us be frank. No one has closer relations than Belarusians and Russians. Naturally, we are moving forward and on this way certain issues emerge. However, they are incomparable with the achievements that you mentioned citing statistics,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“Indeed, we can find common ground, because the delegations in attendance have held several rounds of negotiations. They know the issues inside and out and we are also well aware of the issues to be tackled today. It would be great to settle these issues so that we will not take the old problems into the new year,” the President said.
He expressed confidence that the parties will be able to find a solution that will benefit Belarusians and Russians.
The Belarusian head of state recalled the recent press conference by Vladimir Putin and called it a meaningful conversation with Russians. He emphasized that the topics mentioned during the press conference are important for Belarus, too, because the two countries are involved in common global issues. “Frankly speaking, some issues that we have did not originate here and were not caused by us. We are part of the global process. Therefore, the issues in the international trade, economy, politics, military matters have their impact on us. Therefore, no matter whether we want it or not, we are involved in these issues. However, they should be tackled,” the Belarusian leader said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Belarus-Russia relations have been quite successful. In his words, last year the bilateral trade rose by more than 23% to exceed $32 billion. This year the growth stood at 12% over the previous year. “Belarus has accumulated a substantial amount of Russia’s FDI. Our cooperation is very diverse, which is particularly heartening. The bilateral cooperation encompasses manufacturing and agriculture and everything has been on the rise. Naturally, we have some issues. When cooperation is so extensive, some issues emerge. These issues have to do mostly with energy, however, a lot has been done in this regard, too,” the Russian President said.
“We have all reasons to be satisfied with what we have in our bilateral relations. We need to do our utmost to prevent any kinds of difficulties in the future. Despite some issues in these sectors, we have always managed to come up with solutions,” Vladimir Putin said.
Initially the meeting was attended by the members of the delegations. Then the heads of state held one-on-one negotiations.
The talks can be described as productive. The presidents discussed the entire spectrum of issues on the agenda. Speaking about the trade and economic cooperation, the sides agreed that the increase in the bilateral trade is a good thing. Other important issues on the agenda were gas prices, operation of the Belarusian oil processing sector amid Russia’s tax maneuver, export of foodstuffs on the Russian market. As a result, positions were reconciled on virtually all issues.
Besides, during the one-on-one meeting the presidents analyzed the agreements in the UnionState. The deemed it necessary to step up efforts in certain fields, for example, in harmonizing the industrial policy.
The heads of state agreed to hold another meeting by the end of the year to address pending issues. First of all, this is explained by the willingness of the Russian President to scrutinize certain issues and find the most appropriate solutions. The date of the meeting will be determined depending on the schedules of the heads of state.

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Session to discuss topical issues of cooperation with Russia

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

24 December 2018

The comprehensive nature of the bilateral relations is important not only for Belarus, but also for Russia, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a session to discuss topical issues of cooperation with Russia on 24 December.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that Russia is a key partner for Belarus. “I am not saying “a brotherly nation”, because as I have been informed, Russia does not perceive it this way, as new decision-makers there reject this notion. Okay, let us be partners,” the Belarusian leader said.
“We have always underscored the significance of this cooperation. The comprehensive nature of our relations means a lot not only for Belarus, but also for Russia. These relations have a systemic and regular basis,” the President noted.
Alexander Lukashenko added that decisions had been taken on all Belarus-Russia agreements within the framework of the UnionState and in the bilateral format proceeding from the perspective that Russia is not only a partner, but also a brotherly nation. “Many agreements have been signed at the Supreme State Council, the Union State Council of Ministers and in the bilateral format. Unfortunately, as I keep saying, not all of them are being fulfilled,” the head of state noted.
The President recalled that half a year ago the Supreme State Council passed priority objectives and tasks for the UnionState development for the forthcoming five years. “There is an action plan. We had been drafting it for a long time, we scrutinized every matter, reconciled and spelled out everything we were capable of and, first of all, what the Russian Federation was capable of. During the preparatory work back then many our proposals on closer integration were not upheld,” the President noted.
According to the head of state, a broad spectrum of matters was covered, including macroeconomics, budget, manufacturing, foreign policy, transport, migration, healthcare and culture. “Action plans were adopted on all of them. We have approached the establishment of the common fuel and energy market and are moving towards the formation of the common legal space in the UnionState,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
During the talks in Saint Petersburg in April 2017, the heads of state agreed to come to grips with a number of issues in the oil and gas sector. “In the middle of this year we were supposed to embark on negotiations on the gas prices (as we had agreed on with Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg) and oil-related issues amidst Russia’s tax maneuver. These issues were to be tackled by the end of the year. However, Russia did not agree with all our proposals, so the deadline was not met. The delegations of Belarus and Russia will have to answer a question during the talks tomorrow why the decision adopted by the two presidents was not fulfilled,” the Belarusian President said.
The head of state called the forthcoming talks in Moscow difficult. In the run-up to the talks, he suggested discussing the ways to approach integration-related matters with utmost respect for the sovereignty of the two states and in particular the choice of the two peoples – Russians and Belarusians.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that the gas prices for the forthcoming year were agreed on. “Although they are two times higher than in Russia, we have managed to agree on prices for three years in a row, including for 2019,” he noted.
“As for the price for oil, the situation changed three years ago. Over this period Belarus lost nearly $4.5 billion because of the tax maneuver [in Russia’s oil industry]. We assume that we will lose another $10.5 billion in the years to come, by 2024 or so,” the Belarusian leader said.
“They promised me personally, and the government did not deny it, that they [Russia] would never do anything to deteriorate the economic situation in Belarus and that they would compensate for the losses inflicted by the tax maneuver. Those were promises. We understood it and were ready to negotiate. It seemed the two governments calculated everything and a decision was adopted,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state commented on the statement by First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Anton Siluanov who was in charge of the talks. Anton Siluanov said that Belarus would lose a lot and Russia was ready to make up for these losses from the budget. “And then everything came to a halt all of a sudden. I want an answer to the question: why did these talks stop at a time when everything was in place for making a decision even at the Union State Council of Ministers session in Brest?” the President asked.
Alexander Lukashenko added that there are multiple ways to address the issues to be discussed in the Kremlin; however Belarus should clearly formulate and defend its position.

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Greetings to Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

24 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has sent a letter of birthday greetings to Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.
“Productive and comprehensive development of fraternal Azerbaijan is inseparably connected with your efforts to build a strong and independent state,” the felicitation message reads.
Alexander Lukashenko remarked that the intensive contacts, mutual understanding and trustworthy top-level dialogue are the distinctive features of Belarus- Azerbaijan relations and help enhance the traditions of friendship between the two nations.
“I am convinced that the implementation of the agreements which were reached during your visit to Belarus will make a big contribution to the development of the sustainable and versatile cooperation between Minsk and Baku, improve the wellbeing of the two nations,” the Belarusian head of state said.

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Belarus’ president scholarships awarded to 94 young scientists

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

22 December 2018

The Scholarships of the President of the Republic of Belarus will be given to 94 young scientists. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed a corresponding order on 22 December. 

Among those who will get the scholarships are 12 doctors of science and 55 candidates of science, and 27 scientists without academic titles. They do research in the following disciplines: physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, biology, medicine, agriculture, social studies and humanities (including law and psychology). 

The results of their work have scientific and practical value for the country’s economy and social field. The relevance of their studies is proved by the fact that the findings of their research were published in leading domestic and international journals. Many new solutions were patented. 

These scholarships are part of the state support for talented young researchers and the efforts to build the capacity of the domestic science.

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Commentary to Decree No. 490 of 22 December 2018

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

22 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 490 “On customs regulation” on 22 December.The document addresses matters, which the national legislation is supposed to handle in line with the Eurasian Economic Union Customs Code Treaty. The document also stipulates the principle of fairness and bona fide practice, which means that all contradictions and ambiguities in customs regulations are to be interpreted for the benefit of the declarant (payer).Customs fees shall not be levied if the demand (decision) to collect them is made by the customs body more than five years after the fees were due for payment. A number of simplifications for customs brokers, residents of free economic zones and the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone are stipulated.The decree allows moving process equipment, raw materials, and components imported for implementing investment projects, which match the core business of the company, without guarantees to pay customs fees and consequently submit the declaration.The decree also allows duty-free stores to sell goods in the Minsk National Airport to travelers upon arrival in the Republic of Belarus and to sell goods on board of Belarusian aircraft, which transport passengers between countries.The decree scrapped restrictions on importing medical products, food, dietary supplements for citizens suffering from certain incurable diseases via international mail.The decree raises the duty-free limit on receiving international mail packages for personal use from €22 and 10kg to a total of €200 and 31kg per month while the limits per package remain at €22 and 10kg.

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Greetings to BelTA on centennial anniversary

Source: President of the Republic of Belarus

22 December 2018

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko extended greetings to the republican unitary enterprise Belarusian Telegraph Agency BelTA on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the news agency. 

“Having made a long journey together with the country, BelTA has become a powerful and authoritative media outlet. The BelTA news agency is a reliable source of latest news about events in Belarus and in the world and is by right considered one of the leading mass media organizations in the country,” the message of greetings reads. 

The head of state noted that the close-knit team of the agency unites highly professional, talented and ambitious people who are devoted to the best traditions of Belarusian journalism. BelTA enjoys well-deserved respect and trust of numerous foreign partners. Together they implement important media projects, exchange advanced technologies.

Alexander Lukashenko wished BelTA’s staff unfailing inspiration, new achievements and unchangeable leadership positions in the media space.

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