Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus O.Kravchenko meets the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

On September 17, 2018 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Oleg Kravchenko, met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga.

During the meeting, the parties disscussed current state and prospects for developement of Belarus-Cuba cooperation, including the collaboration in political, trade and economic spheres, as well as within international organizations. The sides also considered the exchange of visits at the high and highest level, cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.

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Cuba Thanks Belarusian Solidarity in the Fight against Blockade

Havana, Jul 2 (Prensa Latina) The President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando Gonzalez, thanked Belarus for its solidarity with this Caribbean country in its fight for the end of the U.S. blockade.

We recognize the support of Belarus in the demand of Cuba for the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the northern country on the island for almost six decades, stated Gonzalez in a ceremony for the 74th anniversary of the victory of Belarus over the fascism, celebrated in Havana.

In his words, the head of ICAP reminded the heroes and martyrs of that epic event when on July 3, 1944, the city of Minsk was liberated from the Nazi occupation.

Our solidarity hugs to the Belarusian people, reiterated Gonzalez and then referred to the agreements both nations are implementing in the economic, educational and scientific spheres.

He also spoke about the high level of bilateral relations and about the joint work in favor of peace that Cuba and Belarus have made in the Non-Aligned Movement and in the United Nations Organization.

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Belarus suggests opening joint venture to process powdered milk in Cuba

Belarus has suggested setting up a joint venture to process powdered milk in Cuba. The proposal was put forward by Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus Leonid Zayats during talks with a Cuban delegation led by Cuba's Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero, BelTA has learnt. “We are ready to set up a joint venture to process powdered milk on the territory of Cuba using Belarusian technologies.

We could team up with the Cuban business community to manufacture the products that are in short supply in Cuba, like yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, ice cream, etc. We could also provide technical guidance and train Cuban specialists,” Leonid Zayats said. He noted that Belarus can also open its own dairy companies. “We can build up-to-date dairy complexes in Cuba and supply them with our equipment and cattle.

Belarusian specialists can provide technical guidance and training,” Leonid Zayats said. Another proposal is setting up a joint venture to process poultry. “We could supply Belarus-made poultry meat and arrange its deep processing there in order to supply Cuban consumers with these products,” he added.

Other possible areas of cooperation include training and advanced training of Cuban agriculture specialists, supply of farm machines, plant growing in protected ground. Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero expressed interest in Belarus' expertise and knowledge in agriculture.

“We need to forge close ties between the ministries. The agriculture development pattern that you pursue, as well as your successes in this field could serve as an example to us.

We could adopt Belarus' best practices to develop Cuban agriculture,” he noted. A cooperation agreement between Belarus' Agriculture and Food Ministry and Cuba's Agriculture Ministry was signed on 19 September 2017.

The document seeks to boost ties between agricultural companies, organizations and educational facilities of the two countries. The agreement provides for closer cooperation in crop growing, cattle breeding, mechanized agriculture, phytosanitary and veterinary control, education and training.

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Minsk plays host to the second meeting of the Belarusian-Cuban commission on cooperation in science and technology

Minsk plays host to the second meeting of the Belarusian-Cuban commission on cooperation in science and technology. The agenda of the visit features signing of agreements on bilateral cooperation between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, the Politekhnik science park of the Belarusian National Technical University and the Minsk Technopark. The parties consider cooperation prospects and coordinate the executive program on sci-tech and innovative cooperation for 2018-2020 which is to be signed in August.

In recent years our contacts have intensified, and this was confirmed by Ambassador of Belarus to Cuba Alexander Alexandrov, who kindly provided an interview to our Radio:

Our partner relations with Cuba have been proven in the course of many years of interaction. It was here that in 1998 Belarus opened its first Embassy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today Cuba remains an anchor point and one of our most important allies in the region both in terms of foreign policy – with our positions being very similar on most points of the international agenda – and with respect to economic cooperation. This is what makes the foundation for the Belarus-Cuba dialogue, and together with our Cuban colleagues we are working now to expand the number of areas where we interact and promote further growth in those fields where we cooperate traditionally. For instance, to advance our contacts in R&D we have set up a joint Commission on cooperation in science and technology. It first convened in Havana in May 2016 and proved to be very efficient. An agreement was reached for researchers from both countries to work together with the view to developing special agents for protection of economically important plants.

In 2014 the countries signed an intergovernmental agreement on mutual supplies. As part of it, Cuba supplies Belarus with some of its highly effective medicines getting Belarusian agricultural produce, vehicles and components in return.

Positive results were brought about thanks to the participation of a Belarusian delegation last autumn in the international Havana fair, one of the largest events of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean. For the first time in the history of our relations a national exposition of Belarus was organized. It extensively represented the export potential of Belarusian enterprises subordinate to the Industry Ministry, as well as scientific organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

Concrete agreements have been reached both in well-established ares of our cooperation across a number of industries and with regard to certain new R&D projects.

The Ambassador also described in some detail the current level of economic cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Cuba:

Talking about our political dialogue we have already pointed out the constructive and friendly nature of our relations, and economic aspects of our interaction follow in the same vein. Our countries register obvious progress in this field. In 2017 the trade turnover between our countries reached 60 million USD. Our exports to Cuba are dominated by trucks, agricultural machinery and components produced by some of our leading enterprises, including MAZ, MTZ, Amkodor, Minsk motor plant, Belagromash. Importantly, the products of the Belarusian heavy engineering industry enjoy success in Cuba, which is supported by the positive experience Cubans had with it back in the times of the Soviet Union. About 60% of all Cuban tractors were made in Belarus. Over the years the Cuban users have come to appreciate its cost effectiveness and reliability, and now prefer Belarus-made products to many others. At the same time, competition is growing with producers from other countries. In this respect, it is very important to ensure the use of proper financial instruments to support our export, which is done with the assistance of the Belarusian Development Bank. Today Belarusian exporters and our Cuban partners are looking forward to a new export credit line from the Bank, which will help boost our exports and consolidate our standing in Cuba. We are also looking at some new areas to cooperate in. Recently we launched a successful project to supply Cuba with Belarus-made home appliances, including fridges and cookers, which have already gained a reputation with the local population. As to Cuban supplies to Belarus, sugar makes the bulk of those. Currently we are also working to develop cooperation in pharmaceutics, which means projects to develop and produce new kinds of medications.

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Belarus interested in close cooperation with Cuba

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has sent greetings to President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz as the country celebrates the 59th anniversary of the liberation of the Republic of Cuba, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

“An authentic and independent path of the Cuban people was not easy. Cubans protected their identity, stayed loyal to the ideals of the Revolution, and enhanced the country's positions on the international arena,” the message of greetings reads.

The head of state stressed that Belarus will be always committed to friendship and close cooperation with Cuba.

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Andreichenko: Belarus-Cuba relations are based on friendship, mutual understanding

MINSK, 12 October (BelTA) – The relations between Belarus and Cuba are based on friendship and mutual understanding, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said at the meeting with Cuban Ambassador to Belarus Gerardo Suarez Alvarez on 12 October, BelTA has learned.

This year Belarus and Cuba are marking 25 years of diplomatic relations. “They have always been based on friendship and mutual understanding, and they have been so since the Soviet times,” said Vladimir Andreichenko. He added that over 25 years the two countries have built a robust foundation of cooperation, thanks to the leaders of the two states in the first place.

The two states have been steadily developing a legal framework of the bilateral relations. For instance, this year the agreements on cooperation were signed by the agrarian and culture ministries. The inter-parliamentary ties have been strengthening as well. Vladimir Andreichenko thanked the Cuban side for the support of the National Assembly in seeking the status of the observer in the Latin American Parliament. “We are very active there,” the speaker said.

Belarusian MPs have always supported Cuba in international organizations, advocating for the release of the Cuban Five and the end of the United States embargo against Cuba. Gerardo Suarez Alvarez is completing its diplomatic mission in Belarus. He thanked the country's authorities for fruitful cooperation and also the Belarusian people for support and solidarity. “Belarus became a true friend for Cuba long time ago. The two states enjoy great political relations. Some progress has been made in the trade and economic cooperation,” he stressed.

The two countries have been successfully implementing the signed agreements, for instance, the ones on mutual supplies. Under the document, Cuba exports mediations to Belarus, while Belarus sells agricultural equipment to Cuba. Over the past 2.5 years the volume of mutual supplies reached $6 million. The states continue talks to prolong the loan agreement, develop sci-tech cooperation.

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Belarus, Cuba interested in bigger role of parliaments in expanding bilateral ties

Belarus and Cuba are interested in enhancing the role of Belarus in the expansion of bilateral ties in politics, trade, economy, humanitarian field and other areas. The statement was made at the meeting of Belarus' Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Evgeny Shestakov and Vice President of the Cuban National Assembly Ana Maria Mari Machado, BelTA has learned.

The meeting focused on the current state and development prospects of cooperation between the legislative authorities of the two countries. During the meeting. There were bilateral consultations on political issues with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Rogelio Sierra Diaz.

The sides praised a high level of mutual trust in the Belarusian-Cuban relations. They also shared opinions on a wide range of issues on the international and regional agenda. The parties discussed further enhancement of bilateral cooperation and efficient interaction of the two countries in international organizations. During the meeting.

Evgeny Shestakov is paying a working visit to Cuba on 3-6 July.

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2 planes collide at Minsk Airport due to stormy weather

Several planes have been damaged by a storm at the airport in the capital of Belarus, with two aircraft colliding on the airfield. There have been no reports of injuries.

The planes that collided belong to the Belarusian Belavia Airlines and the Ruby Star Air Carrier Company, pictures posted on social media show. Belavia officials have already confirmed to the local media that the company’s airplanes were hit by the storm.

“There are problems in the airport because of the storm,” a Belavia representative told Belorussian news portal, adding that “some aircraft are damaged, including ours.”

"There are no dead or injured from the incident,” the company representatives added.

There were no passengers onboard the two planes that collided, the Belavia press service told journalists.

The airport press service said that several windows in the airport terminal had been smashed and a suspended ceiling system was deformed in several places due to rough wind and heavy rains.

Several flights were also re-routed to alternate airport in the Belorussian city of Gomel, and another was re-routed to the city of Vilnius in neighboring Lithuania.

The airport now is now operating as usual, the press service added.

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