Why Belarus is interested in the Russian north

On September 8, 2022, the Governor of the Murmansk Region Andrey Chibis met with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk. One of the key topics of the event was the reorientation of part of the Belarusian export cargo due to the changed geopolitical situation in the world. It was then that a decision was made to cooperate in this direction with the Kola Arctic.

During the meeting, Alexander Lukashenko noted that the head of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, supports the undertakings of Belarus in the implementation of a joint project of the two states on the territory of the Murmansk region, despite the fact that the Belarusian side had already taken an active part in a similar project in St. Petersburg. We are talking about the marine multifunctional transshipment complex "Bronka".

In addition, they discussed cooperation in the field of supply of industrial equipment. It should be noted that the Murmansk region has a rather high natural resource potential; more than 60 large deposits of various types of mineral raw materials have been discovered on the territory of the Kola Arctic, where about 30 types of minerals are being mined. The explored reserves of most of them are of national importance, and for apatite-nepheline, kyanite ores, rare metals - of world importance. Therefore, the mining and processing companies of the region are experiencing a certain need for the equipment of the Belarusian Automobile Plant.

They also discussed the supply of equipment that will allow the Murmansk region to solve social problems. For example, MAZ, specifically for the northern regions of the Russian Federation, has taken up the production of buses in the northern configuration, and Belkommunmash plans to continue delivering passenger vehicles to the Kola Arctic. Amkodor can produce the widest range of products to order, in which the region will feel the need.

Andrey Chibis, Governor of the Murmansk Region, also added that the Murmansk-Minsk direct train is in great demand in the region, which indicates that the population is interested in this route, so it is necessary to work out options for launching direct flights between cities, which existed during the Soviet era. Union.

Almost a year has passed since the visit of the delegation of the Murmansk region to the capital of Belarus. Many points that were discussed during that meeting are in the process of implementation, some have already been fully implemented. So, on May 23, 2023, 30 years later, the first direct flight on the route Minsk-Murmansk-Minsk arrived at Murmansk Airport. Also in 2022, the Murmansk enterprise Elektrotransport signed contracts with JSC MAZ for the supply of passenger buses and trolleybuses to the city, this year another 15 electric vehicles are expected to arrive from Belkommunmash. 12 pieces of equipment from the Amkodor enterprise arrived in various municipalities of the Kola Arctic. About 300 BELAZ trucks work in the mining and construction industry in the region.

On May 25, 2023, a Belarusian delegation arrived in the Murmansk region on a return visit, headed by Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko. During the meeting, it was emphasized that at the end of 2022, it was possible to achieve a record trade turnover between Belarus and the Kola Arctic, it amounted to $286 million, an increase of almost three times compared to 2021. It was also clarified that a similar trend is observed in the first quarter of this year, which indicates the establishment of strong cooperative ties, which in the future should form the basis for integration development in modern geopolitical conditions.

Another important project, the decision to implement which was made during the meeting, was the construction of a branded regional repair and service center "BELAZ" in the Murmansk region. In addition to commissioning the center itself, the project includes the creation of jobs in Apatity, as well as the active development of the mining equipment service sector in the region. Currently, a similar service already exists in the Kola Arctic, but it deals only with warranty and current repairs of equipment, the new facility will increase the depth of repairs, which in the conditions of the Far North, where both people and equipment are forced to work in the most extreme conditions for themselves, is extremely important.

The participants of the event did not bypass the key project within the framework of cooperation between Belarus and the Murmansk region. We are talking about the export of part of the cargo from a neighboring state through the Northern Sea Route. It is assumed that for these purposes a terminal for the transshipment of potash fertilizers will appear on the territory of the Kola Arctic. Currently, active work is underway to monitor and analyze promising areas for creating all the necessary port infrastructure, the Belarusian side is studying the features of navigation in the waters of the port of Murmansk. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Golovchenko said that the Belarusian side received a number of proposals from the leadership of the Murmansk region on the possible location of the new terminal. In the very near future, they will be considered, Alexander Lukashenko will get acquainted with them, after which a final decision will be made. The logical outcome should be the transition to the stage of business planning and legal study of the transaction.

Summing up, I would like to speculate about the advisability of the Belarusian side to choose Murmansk for the export of part of its cargo. As far as we know from media reports, Belarus considered different ways to solve the problem associated with the impossibility of transshipment of goods through the Baltic ports. Some of them are currently being actively implemented (Bronka port in St. Petersburg). Here, the competitive advantages of the port facilities located in Murmansk appear in a favorable light.

Thus, when working in the Baltic Sea, Belarusian companies can always face the problem of freedom of movement of ships due to restrictive measures by unfriendly states. In addition, the capabilities of the Kola Bay and the infrastructure available in it make it possible to work with ships of any size (length, width, draft). Do not forget that the port of Murmansk is ice-free, the beginning of the Northern Sea Route is located here, which actually guarantees free access to goods to the Atlantic and to Eastern countries.
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  1. k7k8 Offline k7k8
    k7k8 (vic) 4 June 2023 18: 36
    Why Belarus is interested in the Russian north

    For the same reason that Russia is interested in the Belarusian window to Europe
  2. vlad127490 Offline vlad127490
    vlad127490 (Vlad Gor) 4 June 2023 23: 51
    It is necessary to deal with the integration of Belarus into the Russian Federation. One state Russia, but two political systems. RF - capitalism, Belarus - socialism. Russian hucksters in power are against this, they want the privatization of the Republic of Belarus, but the people of the Republic of Belarus do not want this, looking at what these hucksters have done with the Russian Federation. So the Republic of Belarus has to look for ways out itself.
  3. unc-2 Offline unc-2
    unc-2 (Nikolai Malyugin) 5 June 2023 07: 53
    At least one good news.