Updated at 17:46,10-07-2018

Lukashenka Returns to Minsk


Alyaksandr Lukashenka has returned to Minsk, according to official news sources.

On March 15, the Belarusian leader left for Venezuela, where he spent six days, and then he visited Brazil where he met with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Twenty-two agreements were signed as a result of Mr. Lukashenka’s visit to Venezuela, which, in particular, provided for Belarus to design and build an "agro-town" in Venezuela, help create an agricultural production infrastructure, build a service center for machines and equipment, supply equipment for scrap metal processing, and build two plants for battery utilization.

A contract was signed in Caracas on March 17 for Venezuela to supply crude oil to Belarus. A pilot shipment of up to 80,000 tons of oil is to be delivered in May and up to four million tons is expected to be supplied before the end of the year. The oil would be delivered through the Ukrainian seaport of Odessa and processed at the refinery in Mazyr.

A special company is to be established within two months to ship oil to Belarus, in which 75 percent would be held by Venezuela and 25 percent by Belarus. Venezuela is expected to daily sell 80,000 barrels of crude oil to Belarus starting May 1, 2010.

An agreement was signed for Petrolera BeloVenezolana, a Belarusian-Venezuelan oil company, to begin natural gas production in Venezuela. Some 40 cubic feet (1.13 million cubic meters) of gas is to be produced at the initial stage. The output is expected to increase fivefold by 2012, with investment estimated at $1.6 billion.

According to Belarusian Television, a contract was signed for 1,300 units of Belarusian-made road construction equipment valued at almost $200 million to be supplied to Venezuela.

Belarus will also supply $20 million worth of BelAZ mining dump trucks in the first half of 2010 and build two plants in Venezuela before July 1, 2011, which would annually produce 5,000 Belarusian-designed trucks and 10,000 Belarusian-designed tractors, Belarusian Television said.

During their meeting in Rio de Janeiro on March 22, the presidents of Belarus and Brazil reportedly agreed that the two countries would set up a joint commission for trade and economic cooperation and exchange embassies.