Belarus hopes to expand cooperation with Vnesheconombank, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Vladimir Dmitriyev, Chairman of the State Corporation "Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)", on 13 February.
“Belarus is not a foreign land for your organization. I am thankful to you for everything you have done in Belarus. I don’t think you can reproach anyone of us, the government, for failing to honor our agreements,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
He reminded that in 2008 the bank and the Belarusian government had signed a memorandum of cooperation. “I know that we strictly follow the document,” the head of state stressed.
“We look upon our cooperation with the bank in light of Belarus-Russia cooperation. These are powerful drive belts,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “Therefore today’s visit of yours will give a boost to the development of our cooperation I think,” the head of state added.
The President assured Vladimir Dmitriyev that Belarus will continue remaining a good partner of Vnesheconombank. “I welcome attempts and your desire to expand cooperation with Belarus and to make your operation here larger. We will support it in every way," Alexander Lukashenko said.
The President stressed that the Belarusian side did not ask for some projects without future. “We would like you to choose the projects you want us to work together on,” the Belarusian leader noted.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, one of the major projects where Belarus cooperates with Vnesheconombank is the construction of the nuclear power plant. “This is a huge project. We have already launched it and we would like to implement it without delays. We need to build the plant fast. We have already created the whole system, the infrastructure,” the head of state said.
“I believe the NPP construction is a very important project for Russia, especially now when they argue the need to have nuclear power engineering. This project is very important both for us and Russia,” the President said noting that he had discussed the issue with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Premier Vladimir Putin.
Vladimir Dmitriyev, in turn, said that he saw no problems regarding the promotion of cooperation with Belarus. “We have to move forward. There are a lot of things to do. Certainly there are large-scale projects,” the head of Vnesheconombank said.
Vladimir Dmitriev noted that Vnesheconombank, a financing partner of the NPP construction project, will guarantee adequate and smooth banking service.
“On the whole more than $1 billion were put in the capital and activity of Belvnesheconombank. It is not just an investment in the banking sector of the country, it is an investment in the real economy,” Vladimir Dmitriev said.
Besides, the bank has plans to expand its presence in Belarus and provide finances and loans to implement various projects, including humanitarian ones.
It will be Vnesheconombank and its subsidiary Belvnesheconombank that will handle the transaction of the Russian loan to Belarus for the construction of the nuclear power plant. “Vnesheconombank has expressed interest today in supporting Belarus and providing funds to pay the advance payment for the NPP construction. The loan to be extended will make $500 million.
Another promising cooperation avenue may be methodological and expert assistance to the Development Bank of Belarus. The institution may become Vnesheconombank’s partner in international banking associations. In particular, it pertains to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
According to Vladimir Dmitriev, at a meeting with the President the sides also discussed interaction with other development institutions, in particular, with the newly created Russian agency for insurance of export credits and investments and Beleximgarant. These are the two government organizations that may together support Russian and Belarusian exporters, especially when implementing joint projects in third countries. These may be supplies of high-tech engineering products and other high value added exports.
Following the meeting the parties proved their readiness to boost mutually beneficial cooperation in the future.