Meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin

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The relations between Belarus and Russia are inviolable regardless of what some people might say or write, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Krasnaya Polyana on 13 February.

“In the context of the international agenda, Belarus-Russia relations are inviolable, no matter what some people might say or write. We don’t even have to tell you this. We, at least, know it full well,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

“I also appreciate your support for our economy. I often say that Belarus’ economy is the finishing assembly shop of the Russian economy. Some 60-70% of raw materials and component parts for our mechanical engineering industry and oil processing come from Russia. Therefore, this is our common economy. Supporting us, you support those 35-40 million people (and their families) who work at the Russian companies that supply their products to Belarus. If some people in Russia and Belarus do not understand it, I think they eventually will,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

“Of course, some issues arise every now and then. However, we have always managed to come to terms. I think it is not a big problem for us,” he added.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the high quality of foodstuffs made in Belarus and the readiness to supply he necessary amounts of foodstuffs to the Russian market. “You and us have done the research. We are capable of providing high-quality foodstuffs to people. So, whatever the conflicts and scandals, you must remember that we will never deliver poor-quality beverages and food to Russia. You must understand it clearly,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that during his visit to Russia the parties will be able to discuss not only economy, but also humanitarian matters. For example, humanitarian partnerships will be discussed by respective ministers during their visit to the Sirius education center.

“I appreciate an opportunity to have talks with our counterparts who will come here tomorrow [for a tripartite meeting on Syria of the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey] to discuss important international matters,” the President said.

The Belarusian head of state expressed confidence that the meetings today and in the coming days will greatly benefit Belarus-Russia relations.

The schedule of Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to Sochi provides for a leisure opportunity. “Thank you for your invitation. We often get overwhelmed with our problems and cannot see a situation from outside. I agree with you that one can find an hour or two for some rest. I took advantage of this opportunity in the morning. Thank you for preparing the trails. Members of my delegation were also delighted,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“I feel like home here. As I was travelling along the new road yesterday night I recalled the scary Soviet road that we had driven along before. We used to be afraid to look down. Today it is a totally new resort, a new place. I am glad that Belarus has its home base here. We have two hotels here, villas that are popular with tourists and this business generates profit,” the President noted.

The Russian head of state in turn said: “Our cooperation in the sphere of international relations, the situation in the region is important. For us Belarus is the most important strategic partner, an ally. For me it is very important to compare notes with the Belarus President about these matters, including matters of integration in the post-Soviet space.”

On the whole the Russian President stated that Belarusian-Russian relations advance and grow stronger. Russia remains Belarus’ largest trade and economic partner.

After the meeting with the participation of the delegations Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin took to a ski slope.

Later the heads of state continued their conversation in an informal environment.