Union State's import substitution programs seen as response to West's pressure

17:27, 26 May

Import substitution programs in the Union State of Belarus and Russia will be a response to Western pressure, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Dmitry Mezentsev said at the international forum “New Meanings of New Reality” in Moscow on 24 May as he commented the meeting between Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on 23 May, BelTA has learned.

“The time requires today to rethink and predict the role of Russia, the role of allies, the role of the Union State, taking into account the current complicated situation,” said Dmitry Mezentsev. “It is quite natural that I would like to focus on that unique large-scale interaction that distinguishes the cooperation between Belarus and Russia.”

He recalled that the Union State of Belarus and Russia marked its 25th anniversary this year. “It is clear however that our relations, the relations of millions of people are centuries old. We are talking about the cohesion of Belarus and Russia as a response to unjustified and unfair sanctions that are applied to our countries by the West. We are talking about cohesion, about the desire to interact , expand the scale of this interaction, form a model of the future with Belarus as the choice of the peoples, as a line and model defined by the presidents of our countries,” he said.

According to Dmitry Mezentsev, the contacts between Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been especially intensive this year. “Yesterday, the two leaders met face-to-face for the fifth time. They discussed the further development of the Union State, our economic cooperation. We understand perfectly well that today the response to Western pressure is new import substitution programs, the new formation of production chains, and the involvement of young engineers, researchers to ensure that in these difficult conditions we achieve the competitiveness of our products and find a new place in new markets, because we understand that the old ones are closed for us. We also understand that the economy is by no means the only area of our cooperation,” the state secretary said.

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