Meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin

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More vigorous interregional cooperation will allow accelerating the pace of restoration of Belarus-Russia trade. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 8 June.

The heads of state has a one-on-one meeting and an extended meeting with the participation of government members and other officials.

“There is a huge potential in interregional cooperation that can help accelerate the pace of restoring the volumes of mutual trade between Belarus and Russia. By discussing problems at the top level, we should demonstrate an example of constructive and productive cooperation to the regional power vertical. We should determine some vector of our movement at the top level,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated with regret that the sides have not been able to reverse negative trade dynamics so far. In January-April 2016 Belarus-Russia trade totaled $7.6 billion, nearly 12% down from the same period of last year. Belarus’ export to Russia was close to $3 billion, roughly 6% down from January-April 2015. Import from Russia exceeded $4.5 billion, 15% down.

“But I am glad that the decreasing trade pace has slowed down considerably thanks to our concerted efforts to overcome consequences of economic instability in the world. While in January-April 2015 mutual trade turnover dropped by 30%, this year the decrease was about 12%,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I hope that by working together we will be able to find reserves to make the positive trend last.”

“The elimination of existing restrictions in mutual trade would ensure the stability of our economies and raise the wellbeing of Belarusians and Russians,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the economic crisis should unite the participants of integration processes, encourage them to develop cooperation and internal production chains, stop competition and enhance interaction on external markets. “The resolution of these issues in the Belarusian-Russian relations will promote the development other formats of the integration association,” the Belarusian President remarked.

The Belarusian head of state mentioned the readiness to discuss topical issues of bilateral relations at the meeting. “There are no closed topics between Belarus and Russia. I am convinced that we will find solutions to all issues in the spirit of our friendly relations,” the Belarusian leader concluded.

Extended talks of the presidents of Belarus and Russia