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Heads of central government agencies, heads of oblast administrations and oblast councils of deputies took part in the discussion. The conversation touched upon general matters concerning preparations for and the organization of the forum, events on the official program: panel sessions, sessions of the interparliamentary commission, sessions of the business cooperation council, the plenary session, meetings with heads of municipal authorities. Close attention was paid to preparing contracts, intergovernmental and interregional agreements for signing, to using resources of twinned cities for informing foreign partners about the situation in Belarus.
Natalya Kochanova said: “The Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia is traditionally held in our countries. It is a magnificent idea that was born many years ago. The eighth forum will be held this year. Unfortunately, we couldn't meet last year due to the pandemic and the forum was held online. This is why we look forward primarily to meeting with our colleagues in order to discuss all the items on the forum's agenda.”
The 8th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia will take place in Moscow Oblast on 29 June – 1 July. It will focus on R&D cooperation in the age of digitization. “It is a very important topic that is of current interest and holds a lot of promise in our countries. Apart from that, plans have been made to sign contracts and agreements, which is always traditionally an important component in the forum's work,” the senator noted. “We've already prepared a number of contracts for signing. Some have already been signed within the framework of preparations for the forum. This is why we hope we will reach the targeted sum of $700 million. Moreover, we intend to sign contracts worth more than that. We are talking about $900 million already. And certainly agreements will be signed between enterprises and regions.”
Natalya Kochanova said she hopes that the forum will be properly organized. “We always prepare very seriously for this important event because our heads of state traditionally take part in them. Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin have always attached and attach much significance to this forum,” she concluded.
In particular, six panel sessions will be held as part of the forum. A youth forum of the two countries is part of the plan as well.
Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Anatoly Isachenko noted that the Belarusian delegation will include about 60 people. It will be a hybrid forum. It will begin as an online event on 29 June to continue as an offline event the next day. It is on this day that Chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko and Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova will meet with heads of administrative bodies of Russian and Belarusian regions.
Young Belarusians and Russians will be able to communicate on the sidelines of the forum, too. “A number of matters will be discussed concerning the invigoration of activities of youth organizations and youth leaders, the participation of young people in the virtual information space, the development of new forms of the dialogue and cooperation between young people of the two countries, the significance of the joint development of the information policy aimed at inspiring steady motivational foundations of good neighborhood in young people,” noted Deputy Chairman of the Education, Science, Culture, and Social Development Commission of the Council of the Republic Andrei Ivanets.
Belarusian First Deputy Information Minister Andrei Kuntsevich added the forum will receive wide coverage in Belarusian and Russian mass media. Moreover, in his opinion, it would be a good idea to reflect the rich history of the forum and tell the story of how previously made decisions were implemented, how this year's forum differs from previous ones, and raise the public's awareness about planned contracts and agreements.