Lukashenka builds the Foundation: why the Belarusian President travels to Serbia

Лукашенко строит фундамент: зачем президент Белоруссии едет в СербиюPresident of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko arrived with dvuhdverny visit to Serbia, where he will meet with President Aleksandar Vucic. Bilateral relations both policies is assessed as high, however, according to Minsk, the countries should develop economic cooperation. On the background of the negotiations on the establishment of the Union state of Belarus is extremely important to enlist the largest possible number of not just friends abroad, but also partners.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on 2 December began a two-day official visit to Serbia, where he is scheduled to meet with President Aleksandar Survived. In addition, the Belarusian leader will meet with Chairman of the national Assembly of Serbia Serbia maja gojkovic the speaker and deputies of the Supreme legislative and constitutional body of the country.

In parallel, Belgrade will host the Belarusian-Serbian business forum, which is expected to sign trade agreements. Planned to sign bilateral documents following the talks between the two leaders.

In General, Lukashenko’s visit to Serbia aimed at strengthening economic cooperation.

“Special attention presidents devote to the prospects of increasing trade, initiatives to create joint production and launch of mutual investment projects. The heads of state will also discuss regional and global agenda, cooperation on the international arena”, — the press service of the President of Belarus.

Political interaction between countries, is indeed high. But economic cooperation to evaluate as positively impossible.

Last year the trade volume amounted to $148 million While the maximum level was reached in 2015 and $250 million In Minsk, however, expect to increase the rate of turnover for the last year three times — up to $500 million.

As noted by the Ambassador of Belarus in Serbia Valery Brylev, to achieve the desired level of economic cooperation the parties are still quite difficult.

“Reasons can always be found a lot, but it is our shortcomings. There’s no one to blame: themselves to blame, — quotes bryleva “BelTA”. Two economic systems are different. It is very hard to develop breakthrough and big projects. Was supply arrangements — we have all performed at 100% (trolleybuses, buses, tractors, combines production). But Serbia has the objective requirements. And there are our mistakes: somewhere lost the bid, somewhere participated not as it should be. Did not participate — a hundred buses sold to the Turks”.

The prospects of cooperation, the two leaders discussed back in June — then Vucic visited Minsk at the II European games. In the course of those negotiations Lukashenko clearly outlined what he expects from Serbia.

The Belarusian leader noted that Vucic adopts in his office, where the President invites only the closest and most important guests. During the meeting, Lukashenko said that the relations between the countries are at the highest level, however, the sides need to add economic aspects to “was a strong Foundation of our relations.”

“Serbia is not only a priority of our relationship is a close country for us, it’s close to us people. For me personally, you know what Serbia. I thank you and the Serbs for the warmth with which they relate to the Belarusians and to me personally. We really appreciate it. This will benefit our relationship in the future,” — said Lukashenko in June.

The development of economic cooperation in October was discussed and the Prime Ministers of the two countries Sergei Rumas and Anna Brabec. The development of relations, by the way, contributes to the fact that Minsk does not recognize the independence of Kosovo that the Serbian side was appreciated.

During the June visit to Belarus Vucic thanked the Republic’s authorities for their principled stance and continued support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia. As reported by Vucic, Belgrade appreciate the role of Minsk in international organizations, which try to include the self-proclaimed Kosovo. At the same time, the Serbian leader invited Lukashenko to Belgrade.

Diplomatic relations between the countries were established 25 years ago. By the way, that with the coming to power of Alexander Lukashenko began the rapprochement between Serbia and Belarus. Since then, the Belarusian leader at every opportunity, urged Belgrade to actively cooperate with Minsk.

However, the appeals policy has not aroused great enthusiasm. After Belarus refused to recognize Kosovo’s independence, the parties began to expand its trade contacts, however, the dynamics of trade turnover cannot be called impressive.

However, it is Belarus really needs to step up economic cooperation with Serbia. 8 December at a meeting of the Supreme state Council of the Union state of Belarus and Russia, which, as expected, will start a new stage of building of the Union state of Belarus and Russia.

Work on the creation of the Union state, however, is not without difficulties. The discontent increasingly, the eve of the meeting the Belarusian side expressed. And that economic issues are forcing Minsk to feel uncomfortable.

As reported by the leadership of Belarus, the most difficult topic was the cooperation in oil and gas sector. The main obstacle to agreement was the change in tax policy in Russia. Compensation for Russia’s tax maneuver will lead to a rise in oil prices for Minsk and reduction of budget revenues of the Republic.

For the first 9 months of this year, as calculated in the “Belneftekhim”, the losses of the budget amounted to about $250 million is projected for the entire 2019 losses of Belarusians will be about $400 million, Such losses are expected in 2020. As was stated by the foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei, the implementation of the Treaty on establishing the Union state prevent tax maneuver the price of oil and gas, as well as problems in the supply of agricultural and industrial products.

Lukashenko even made a complete rejection of Russian oil for processing and subsequent delivery to neighbouring countries. According to him, Belarus may buy oil from Iran, USA, Saudi Arabia.

Moscow also refused to help on another, not less significant for Belarus, a financial question. Russia did not renew the “Agreement on cooperation in the oil and gas sector”, which meant the compensation to Moscow on gas prices due to customs duties of 6 million tons of Russian oil. As stated by 4 November, the first Deputy Finance Minister of Belarus Yuri Seliverstov, in 2020 Russia will lose $423,6 million due to Russia’s refusal to renew the contract.

Minsk, thus, there is no significant income that was received previously. Moscow does not intend to compensate for such damage, considering that Belarus is already owed billions of dollars. Moscow is one of the main creditors of the Republic. This year Belarus has to pay debts of at least $2.7 billion Of which $1.24 billion Minsk owes Russia.

Amid growing discontent of the Belarusian leader has begun to implement more open policies. In October, he visited Kazakhstan, where it was agreed the main parameters of the deal on the supply of Kazakh oil to Belarus.

In November Alexander Lukashenko for the first time in three years visited the country-EU member, Austria, where he again stated that it attached “great importance to development of mutually beneficial cooperation”.

The politician’s visit to Vienna many scientists were perceived as a tool of bargaining with Moscow. However, a negative balance of trade of Belarus with Russia is more than $9 billion a year, as indicated in the last time Lukashenko. Against the background of such statements by the Belarusian leader, it is crucial to buy time and lead the economy to a normal state at least until the next presidential election. Economic factors forced the President to look for new opportunities abroad, and Serbia seems Lukashenko is an appropriate partner.


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