The 5th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia took place in Mogilev on 10-12 October. It brought over 70 regional agreements, a massive exchange of gifts and souvenirs and the renewed Palace of Culture to the city.
To give a complete picture of the event, TUT.BY summed up its highlights and outcomes.
Friends and partners
Last Friday in Mogilev was particularly exciting, as the city welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his counterpart hold a one-on-one meeting before heading to the venue of the forum. There, the leaders discussed the most pressing issues.
Vladimir Putin named the construction of BelNPP as the largest joint project and remarked, “We do this to the detriment of ourselves, instead of supplying gas.”
Meanwhile, Alexander Lukashenko stressed that regional cooperation is a key factor of integration and the Union State development. Elimination of restrictions in mutual trade and equal working conditions for enterprises in Belarus and Russia remains a major concern, he said.
Following the forum, over 70 cooperation documents were signed at international, regional and local levels. Besides, the countries signed $500 million worth of contracts.
Designed to coincide with high-level visits to the region an impressive craft fair was arranged.
For a great delight of locals and guests of Mogilev, artisans from two countries presented their works. Master classes, craftwork exhibitions, folk games, tastings of traditional dishes, competitions, and live music filled in the city with a festive atmosphere.
A gift to the city
The preparations to the forum were long, exciting and rather expensive. The reconstruction of the Palace of Culture where the final meeting of the presidents took place is seen as a gift from the Forum of Regions to the city.
After taking part in the forum, the presidents headed to Alexandria, Alexander Lukashenko’s birth town.
Belarus president took Vladimir Putin on a sightseeing tour across the neighborhood where he grew up as a child.
There, the heads of states drank some water from the Trofimova Krinitsa spring well once beautified by Lukashenko’s grandfather. Later the Russian president was invited to a lunch with pancakes and Belarusian draniki in Alexander Lukashenko’s childhood home.
*The forum is a platform for fostering a mutually beneficial dialogue between two countries. Its workshops focused on agrarian policy, unification of legislation, digital economy, youth policy, international affairs, and economic security.