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Representatives of the expert community of Belarus and Russia presented an analytical report "The Union State of Belarus and Russia: Results for Citizens and Prospects" during a video conference between Minsk and Moscow on 14 July, BelTA has learned.

The report was authored by 16 leading experts from Belarus and Russia: political scientists, economists, lawyers, sociologists, historians. It was made on a parity basis: eight specialists from each country. The report is divided into 10 thematic sections, ranging from the rights of citizens to the section "Society and Youth".

“The report contains expert assessments and recommendations on key areas of cooperation between Belarus and Russia both in a bilateral format and in the Union State and the Eurasian Economic Union,” Vyacheslav Sutyrin, vice rector of the Russian State Academic University for the Humanities, said during the video conference. “The analysis has shown that the integration yields tangible results not only for the economies of our countries, but primarily for our people, contributing to well-being, employment, and living standards."

Vyacheslav Sutyrin presented the main theses of the report. "First, Belarusian and Russian economists came to the conclusion that the Russian market, despite the pandemic, is a reliable basis for the development of the Belarusian economy," he said. Vyacheslav Sutyrin noted that in 2020, Belarus was among the three key trading partners of Russia, yielding only to China and Germany.

"The time is ripe for us to introduce the Union State citizenship, which would not abolish the citizenship of the two countries. For example, an ID card could expand freedom of movement amid the pandemic, facilitate access to employment and electronic digital public services," he continued. “It is important to align approaches in tax and customs administration. According to the authors of the report, the sanctions wars with the West will drag on. In view of this, the countries should work out a set of appropriate measures, including creating a system of non-cash transactions and payments. The agenda also includes increasing shipments of Belarusian cargo through Russian Baltic Sea ports and other matters,” he added.

“The report does not aim to prove the value of the Belarusian-Russian integration in general: the importance of any regional integration has already become obvious,” said Aleksei Gromyko, Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the Andrei Gromyko Association for Foreign Policy Studies. “Our goal is to find the most important aspects in every integration process: specific results and useful outcomes of this integration, its attractiveness for citizens,” he pointed out.

According to Aleksei Gromyko, the European Union's example shows that integration can be successful, but citizens might still not associate certain benefits they have with integration, although these benefits can directly or indirectly result from such integration. “We wanted to accomplish two goals: to find strengths and weaknesses of the Russian-Belarusian integration and to suggest ways to improve this process,” he stressed.

“The recommendations set forth in this report will be guidelines for government agencies and the parliaments. They will lay the groundwork for future integration projects,” said Andrei Rusakovich, Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs and National Security Commission of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus.

The report is available to the public of the two countries. It has also been sent to the Belarusian and Russian mass media outlets.

Source: БелТА

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin have agreed that the price for natural gas for Belarus in 2022 will remain at this year's level, TASS quoted the Russian president's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov as saying.

Фота з архіва

Dmitry Peskov said: “It was decided that the price for natural gas for Belarus in 2022 will not be indexed and will remain at the level of the year 2021.”

The presidents also agreed on credit support for Belarus due to the tax maneuver in Russia [adjustment of taxation of the Russian oil industry].

Dmitry Peskov noted that during the meeting the heads of state exchanged opinions about the international situation and about regional problems.

According to the source, they summed up results of the discussions previously held within the framework of high-level commissions involving Russian and Belarusian representatives and heads of government of the two countries. The presidents also worked out steps for work in such fields as customs regulation, tax regulation, and energy industry.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin also talked about the matters, which had been raised during the part of the meeting that mass media had had access to, Dmitry Peskov added.

Source: БелТА

The Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE) has set a pre-trading price band with a fixed upper cost limit for trading lumber on the domestic market in order to curb further growth in lumber prices for domestic consumers, BUCE Press Secretary Roman Yaniv told BelTA.

Фота з архіва

The price band is valid from 9 July through 28 July and applies to any standard sizes and delivery terms, product names, grades and moisture content. “The price band is a standard exchange instrument. It is used to smooth out price fluctuations amidst high volatility in a particular segment of the commodity exchange market,” Roman Yaniv explained.

For example, a price band with a fixed cap is invariably in place while trading in ferrous metals. This prevents sellers from setting excessively high prices. At the same time, the price band's floor is set for dairy products slated for export to prevent the sale of these products at prices below the market value. “As far as lumber is concerned, the main goal of the price band is to prevent bidding from going way over the asking price. Taking into account the increased number of sellers and products put up for auction, this measure will help stabilize prices and calm down buyers,” the press secretary emphasized.

Trading sessions to sell lumber on the domestic market are held at BUCE on a weekly basis. About 2,000 cubic meters on average are put up for sale. In H1 2021, 1,684 transactions worth Br28.9 million were made at these sessions. Their number tripled and the amount of contracts quadrupled. At the same time, in order to prevent price manipulation and misuse, the access to trading sessions is given only to buyers who purchase lumber for their own production or consumption and who have provided a certificate confirming their own production or another document confirming the intended use of lumber.

Founded in 2004, the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange conducted its first trading session in June 2005. BUCE is one of the largest commodity exchanges in Eastern Europe. Its main function is to assist Belarusian enterprises with export and foreign companies with entering the Belarusian market. BUCE sells a wide range of metal, forestry, and agricultural products, industrial and consumer goods.

Source: БелТА

While Europe is introducing new sanctions against Belarus, China is signing another agreement with our country. The signatures in the memorandum of cooperation were put by the chairman of the Minsk regional executive committee Alexander Turchin and the vice-president of the open joint-stock company "China Engineering Corporation SAMS" Mr. Li Haixin.

The parties expressed their readiness to cooperate in the field of healthcare, including a project for the construction of an infectious diseases hospital, a surgical building, as well as in the field of waste processing, export-import trade of agricultural products, and the creation of a plant for the production of baby food.

As Aleksandr Turchin explained, the friendship between the company and Minsk Regional Executive Committee has been established long ago and is only getting stronger every year.

— We have known Mr. Li Haixin for almost ten years. I am very glad that at this difficult, quarantine time, he arrived in our country. We agreed to sign a memorandum in a few days. We can say that it was an impromptu, which my colleagues and I have implemented in such a short time. We have a lot of directions, but we have identified priorities for ourselves at the initial stage. This is, in particular, the healthcare sector, because our Chinese colleagues have extensive experience in the construction of healthcare facilities. In the Minsk region, two important facilities are needed: a surgical building in the regional hospital and a modern infectious diseases hospital in the region. Perhaps it will be located on the territory of Borisov, - said the chairman of Minsk Oblast Executive Committee.

Also, according to the head of the region, the corporation has a wealth of experience in construction and financing projects related to waste processing. According to Alexander Turchin, this direction is relevant for Belarus. The amount of waste increases every year, so it is very important to implement the planned projects.

- Trade cooperation is no less important, which in the future, I am sure, will develop into investment cooperation. These are the supplies of our agricultural products to the PRC. We would be interested in a project to create a baby food plant with supplies to the PRC, - said Alexander Turchin.

In turn, the vice-president of the open joint-stock company "China Engineering Corporation SAMS" Mr. Li Haixin noted that the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee and the company are expanding the spheres of their interaction. The corporation specializes in technical industries, construction projects, trade, investments.

— I hope that our cooperation will help improve the life of the two countries, strengthen the friendship of peoples and contribute to the development of the Minsk region. And although we already have a good basis for cooperation, I would like to express my gratitude to the entire Belarusian people and personally to Alexander Turchin. I hope that we will have more prospects for cooperation, and we will contribute to the development of trade and economic cooperation between China and Belarus.

Li Haixin also noted that Minsk Oblast Executive Committee and the company are expanding the spheres of their interaction. The friendship between the company and the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee began about 10 years ago.

"China Engineering Company SAMS" is a subsidiary of the Chinese national engineering corporation SINOMACH.

Information

The foreign trade turnover of the Minsk region with China in January-May 2021 amounted to 779.2 million US dollars, a rate of 130.9%.

Exports - 169.5 million US dollars, rate of 197.4%; imports - 609.7 million US dollars, rate - 119.7%.

The export of services of the Minsk region to China in January-April 2021 amounted to USD 46.6 million, the rate of which was 440.5%.

The volume of foreign investment from China in January-March 2021 amounted to USD 10.1 million, or 131.2% of the level of January-March 2020, including foreign direct investment on a net basis (excluding debt to direct investor for goods, works, services) - 7.7 million US dollars, rate - 102.8%.

Source: Minsk-region.gov.by

The Kupala Night Festival has always been a national asset of Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he attended the Kupala Night Festival (Alexandria Gathers Friends) on 10 July, BelTA has learned.

“Today we have gathered here again, in one of the most picturesque places of Belarus. We got together to preserve the spirit of the ancient holiday that has always been our national asset,” the president said.

“Wherever we live - in a small village or a big city – on the night of Ivan Kupala we flock to places where Kupala bonfires burn, wreaths of meadow grasses and flowers float on rivers and lakes, favorite melodies and songs play. We rush there, to our roots, where it all began, because everyone feels an inexplicable desire to get closer to nature: to breathe the scent of the forest, warm up by the fire and see the most important thing - the clear night sky,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to him, it is important that this festival in Alexandria is not only about the joy of getting together with family, loved ones and friends. For a moment this festival takes us many centuries back, gives a glimpse at ancient knowledge, the experience of all generations and humankind in general, reminds people that they belong here, the land of mighty tribes of the East Slavs.

“The traditions that these glorious, wise and strong people shaped a thousand years ago actually became part of our culture, laid the basis of the modern way of life. They have everything that unites us, Belarusians, as a nation today. This is sacred knowledge about forces of nature, medicinal herbs and amulets. Knowledge that teaches us to love nature, appreciate its gifts and preserve beauty. This is the connection between pagan rituals and Christian symbols, which became the basis of religious tolerance. These are the origins of our devotion to traditional values, the main ones of which are family, care for children, and respect for older generations. This is where our character, our habits and our traditions come from - from there, from a millennium ago,” the Belarusian leader said.

Source: БелТА

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