Putin vows to enhance resilience with Belarus against sanctions
President Putin announces that Belarus has ranked first among CIS countries in terms of trade volume with Russia and fourth globally.
Belarus is Russia's leading trade partner in the Commonwealth of Independent States and its fourth largest globally as mutual trade surpassed $35 billion in 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated on Wednesday.
"Belarus is Russia's first partner in terms of trade among members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and fourth in the world. Last year, trade increased by 12% and exceeded 3 trillion rubles [$35 billion]. This positive trend is getting stronger, mutual trade increased by another 11% over January-April," Putin said during a video address to participants of the Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia.
It is worth noting that the Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eurasia that was established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It currently hosts 8 active member states that cooperate on military, economic, and political levels.
In his address, Putin added that the increase in trade between Moscow and Minsk is the result of the cooperation that the two states exhibit in their bilateral relations.
The Russian President stressed that the two countries are taking every possible step toward enhancing the resilience of their economies in the face of Western sanctions, adding that Belarus and Russia focused on expanding trade to preserve production outputs while concentrating their energies on their local markets.
The two countries have also increased military cooperation after President Putin announced in late March that Russian tactical nuclear weapons would be placed in Belarus, with the storage sites for weapons expected to be finished by July 1. He also clarified that Minsk will not be given control over any nuclear weapon that is deployed in its territory.
On Tuesday, President Alexander Lukashenko announced that Belarus will establish a framework for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to any external aggression on the country.