Prime Ministers of Latvia and Belarus sign a number of cooperation agreements
On Wednesday 7 February, Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis met with Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov in Minsk.
The issues discussed at the meeting included bilateral and regional cooperation, as well as the development of relations between the European Union and Belarus.
During the meeting, M. Kučinskis emphasized the need to strengthen economic relations between the two countries, especially in the field of transport and logistics. "We are interested in the tripartite cooperation between Latvia, Belarus and China, particularly with regard to cargo attraction from the Great Stone industrial park through the ports of Latvia," said M.Kučinskis. He also called for the improvement of the competitiveness of the Latvian-Belarusian transit corridor and the development of railway electrification in the direction of Latvia.
Attention was also devoted to the field of tourism, namely, the development of transport movement between Latvia and Belarus. The officials also emphasized the need to improve the border crossing process at the border inspection posts of Latvia and Belarus, which will be particularly relevant in 2021, when the two countries will jointly organize IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Following the meeting, Prime Minister M. Kučinskis and Belarusian Prime Minister A. Kobyakov signed a number of intergovernmental agreements between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Belarus: the agreement on early notification of nuclear accidents, exchange of information and cooperation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection; the agreement on cooperation in the field of search and rescue of civil aircraft; the Memorandum of Understanding on the main directions of economic cooperation in the medium term. The Prime Minister pointed out that the agreement on early notification of nuclear accidents, exchange of information and cooperation in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection should be emphasized. "I believe that special attention must be paid to ensuring that all new international safety requirements are met in new NPP projects, including the Astravets NPP," said M. Kučinskis.
Within the framework of the visit, the Prime Minister met with Belarusian Minister of Transport and Communications Anatoliy Sivak and Belarusian entrepreneurs – the representatives of leading transport and logistics companies. This meeting also focused on transport and logistics issues, and highlighted the need to intensify Belarusian transit flows through Latvia using the existing ports in the country. The transit of Ukrainian goods, especially grain, through Belarus and Latvia to other world countries was mentioned as an opportunity.
Belarus is an important economic cooperation partner of Latvia – the largest foreign trade partner of Latvia among the Eastern Partnership countries. In the third quarter of last year, the total trade turnover of goods between Latvia and Belarus reached EUR 282.82 million, and it has increased by 26.33% compared to the third quarter of 2016. The volume of exports to Belarus during this period amounted to EUR 101.64 million, which is 37.30% more than in the third quarter of 2016. Total imports from Belarus amounted to EUR 181.17 million, which is by 20.91% more than in the third quarter of 2016.
Kaspars Gerhards, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Uldis Augulis, Minister for Transport, as well as heads of local governments and a large delegation of entrepreneurs are also paying a visit to Belarus together with the Prime Minister.
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister