Meeting with Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov
It is important to solve the major issue in the Belarusian-Russian relations, which is to create equal conditions for the work of people and economic operators, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov on 21 November.
“We have quite good relations with the Russian Federation in general. I would describe them as very good relations. In fact, these relations are better than with other states. However, we need to solve one issue (which we and our Ministries of Foreign Affairs have been discussing since Boris Yeltsin). It is crucial that we create equal conditions for the work of people and economic operators in our common home. This is how I call it. And, perhaps, we cannot call it in a different way,” the Belarusian leader said.
“it is bad that we we have such differences in the work of economic operators, which contradicts our agreements. We need to solve this major issue, and I think that we will never have complaints against each other,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
The Belarusian head of state remarked that the sides need to discuss a number of issues during the meeting. “I know that you are an experienced professional and can read between the lines. But people write different things, so a face-to-face conversation is always useful,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
The President drew attention to another point in the cooperation with Russia: a big deficit in trade for Belarus. “If you have a big trade deficit, you have to look for other ways around the world to make up for it. Everything starts with economy. Apart from this, the situation is pretty good,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He pointed to the high level of Belarusian-Russian engagement at the ministerial level. First of all it, this applies to the foreign and defense ministries. “There is a full understanding. Yet there are issues that we need to talk about openly,” the head of state noted.
For his part, Sergei Lavrov, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to meet. He told about the results of the traditional joint ministerial session that was held this time in Minsk. “We had a very useful conversation. We discussed the joint fight against the attempts to falsify the history of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War, cybersecurity, development of the integration processes with the participation of the Eurasian Economic Union, the SCO and other organizations in the Great Eurasia, and our common cultural heritage and its promotion abroad,” the minister said.
He informed that during the meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei they also discussed issues of Belarusian-Russian relations, including the status of implementation of the agreements to create equal rights. "We believe that it is necessary to fully implement the existing agreements both with regard to economic entities and citizens. We have already addressed many issues. We will do our best to ensure that the relevant organizations of the two countries find solutions", Sergei Lavrov said.