Working visit to Russia

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko paid a working visit to the Russian Federation on 22 November. During the visit he held the talks with Russia President Vladimir Putin.

At the beginning of the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus and Russia are forced to respond to world crises together in a timely manner. “We are not isolated from it. There are tactical matters that need to address promptly,” the head of state said. Aleksandr Lukashenko said he was confident that he and Vladimir Putin would be able to make the right decisions just like they had done before.

Vladimir Putin, in turn, emphasized the importance of trade and economic cooperation of the two countries. He said that Belarus and Russia saw a decline in bilateral trade in 2015. “But this is temporary,” the President of Russia noted.

Before the talks in the Kremlin Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin took part in the ceremony to congratulate Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on his 70thbirthday in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

In his speech at the ceremony the President of Belarus praised the contribution of Patriarch Kirill to the strengthening of the spiritual unity of Belarus and Russia.

“You enjoy the highest regard and appreciation of the Belarusian people. Christians, Muslims and other religious communities – everybody knows you. This is the result of your work and kind regard for our country as the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Under your leadership, the Orthodox Church has been promoting the consolidation of the spiritual unity of the Slavic peoples of Russia and Belarus based on Christian values of mutual help, love of peace, humanism and justice.”

The head of state expressed his gratitude to Patriarch Kirill for the attention he has been giving to the Belarusian people. Every visit to Belarus becomes an important event. Wherever you have led a service – be it in the legendary Polotsk, heroic Brest, ancient Vitebsk or the capital city of Minsk – people welcome you everywhere as a good shepherd and mentor,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Today, when the world is wracked by wars, religious and interethnic conflicts, the words of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh ‘Save the love and unity to be saved’ get a special meaning. Thanks to your active position, the Church plays an important role in maintaining accord in the society, friendship and cooperation between peoples, and peace and stability on the planet,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.

The Belarusian head of state presented a Slutsk belt and a painting featuring St. Nicholas Garrison Church in Brest to Patriarch Kirill.