October 2 – October 8, 2023
Belarus-Russia relations

Is the growth of exports to and through Russia an irreversible process?

The situation has not changed
Is the growth of exports to and through Russia an irreversible process?
Фото: РИА Новости

Minsk plans to create a commission to control exports, mainly in the direction of the Russian Federation, and also establish joint aircraft production with Russia. Logistics issues remain at the center of the bilateral agenda, particularly increasing Belarusian exports through Russia’s northern port facilities.

On October 3, Lukashenkа received a report from the Ambassador of Belarus to Russia, Dmitry Krutoi, on the ongoing topic of exports to Russia. Additionally, the agenda for the upcoming leaders’ meeting between the two countries on October 13 was discussed. During the meeting, it was revealed that Belarus would establish a commission to address export-related matters, with Krutoi as its head.

This new commission is likely to be structured similarly to Russia’s Export Control Commission, an interdepartmental coordinating body responsible for implementing state policy in export control. In certain cases, the Export Control Commission grants permission to export specific goods. The Belarusian counterpart of the Export Control Commission, as indicated by Krutoi, will primarily focus on exports to Russia and manage the most critical product categories. On Lukashenkа’s directive, 75 key commodity items will be selected, including mineral fertilizers and petroleum products. The commission’s responsibilities will encompass making recommendations on “fundamental issues,” including logistics and railway tariffs.

Russia has proposed granting Belarus access to an additional port in the Leningrad region, in addition to the existing deep-water port in Bronka. Lukashenkа noted that there is no consensus within the Belarusian government regarding the necessity of these port facilities. He added that the railway connection with St. Petersburg is the “bottleneck” in this logistics issue. Consequently, he instructed the government to prepare presentation materials for the meeting with Putin on the construction of a new railway line to St. Petersburg.

Lukashenkа revisited the topic of aircraft manufacturing, this time during a meeting with the governor of the Ulyanovsk region, Alexei Russkikh. He stated that Belarus will collaborate with Russia on producing aircraft for regional transport. This referred to Moscow’s proposal to establish aircraft production in Belarus for LMS-901 “Baikal” and TVRS-44 “Ladoga” passenger aircraft, designed to replace outdated models. Serial production of these aircraft is planned to commence in 2024, with deliveries to air carriers beginning in 2026. During this meeting, Lukashenkа also invited the governor to explore cooperation in the fields of information technology and the digital economy.

Hence, it is evident that the Belarusian government views the growth of exports to Russia and through Russian territory as a long-term and irreversible trend.

In terms of integration efforts, another symbolic step has been taken: with the support of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, a manual on the history of the Union State will be created for schoolchildren in both countries.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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