OREANDA-NEWS. May 19, 2008. Belarus believes the cooperation with OAO Russian Machines is promising, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Oleg Deripaska, head of OAO Russian Machines and holding company Basic Element, in Minsk on May 19.

“I’ve been aware of your proposals, interests of Russian companies in the Belarusian mechanical engineering industry for a long time,” said the head of state. To get maximum profits from projects in order to survive severe competition, it is necessary to work together uniting efforts in view of common goals, added the President.

Addressing Oleg Deripaska, Alexander Lukashenko said, “We are ready to build relations using market-based civilised methods. I am attracted to proposals you made a year ago”. At that time the relations were decelerated by the fact that Belarus received similar proposals from KamAZ, noted the President. “I am ready to make decisions if we agree on approaches, a common vision of the future,” he added.

Alexander Lukashenko also stressed, Belarus’ mechanical engineering industry has been essentially upgraded recently. “In principle we may be competitive on our own. But it should be understood that together we will accomplish more,” said the head of state. “We will do it all exclusively in interests of Belarus while you will do it naturally for your own goals,” he added.

In turn, Oleg Deripaska stressed, “Our companies have been cooperating with Belarusian ones for over 20 years. The need to determine our partners for the next 10-15 years is a strategic issue for us in view of the growing competition on the international market”. Which is why, if it is possible, consumers should get the best terms and decisions should be made.

“Belarus and Russia will open new markets, this is why how we will compete with European producers is important as well,” noted Oleg Deripaska.

Founded in 1997, Basic Element is an integrated industrial holding company. In 2006 the company’s consolidated earnings exceeded \\$18 billion. The company’s total market value is over \\$23 billion. Enterprises of Basic Element are located in Russia, the CIS states, Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The holding company employs around 300,000 people. Assets of the company are mainly concentrated in resource industry, fuel and energy, civil engineering, transport, finance and mechanical engineering.

OAO Russian Machines is Russia’s largest mechanical engineering corporation, which unties industrial and engineering assets of Basic Element company. Enterprises of OAO Russian Machines partake in several federal national projects. In 2007 the corporation manufactured over 180,000 automobiles. The largest companies in the corporation are GAZ Group (OAO GAZ), Military Industrial Company, PM Systems, Magna International, Russian Corporation of Transport Mechanical Engineering.