Visit to Russian Museum in St. Petersburg

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko to a working breakfast at the Russian Museum to discuss bilateral relations and other important matters.

According to Vladimir Putin, he had the opportunity to talk with his Belarusian counterpart at the CIS informal summit on the evening of 26 December and on the morning of 27 December. “We will continue our communication in such an informal atmosphere in this wonderful place [the meeting is taking place at the Russian Museum],” he said. “We have agreed that the year 2023 will be the Year of the Russian Language. Therefore, it could not be a better time to meet for a working breakfast at the Russian Museum. This is a good setting to talk about serious matters, including our bilateral relations. Although we keep in touch all the time, some issues emerge every now and then, so we need to deal with them and take the necessary decisions to address them in a more efficient way,” he said.

The two governments are working quite hard, the premiers report to the Presidents on the progress of negotiations on various issues, the Russian head of state noted. “We have something to talk about. I am very glad that the two of us can meet again on the sidelines of the informal summit and discuss things of mutual interest,” the Russian leader added.

"I thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for Moscow, for the cosmonauts, for the center [the visit to the cosmonaut training center in the Star City near Moscow that is selecting a Belarusian candidate for a space flight out of six applicants]. I've been there, I've seen it. As for our stay in St. Petersburg. We did have a look at some things. Well, if someone, as you rightly said, thinks that we only drink tea, then I must say that yesterday we discussed a lot of issues not only over tea but also late at night when returning home. Sometimes it takes years for some states to discuss so many things over such a short period of time. Meanwhile we put many dots over the ‘i’ in the evening, continuing our Minsk dialogue, since it was mainly about the economy. I thank you for the fact that many issues were finalized yesterday. The governments will fine-tune them. They should not have any complaints any longer. We have reached agreements on all issues they asked for," the Belarusian head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also thanked his Russian counterpart for the cultural program: "I thank you for the tour of the museum. You're absolutely right. Declaring the Year of the Russian Language was a right thing to do [2023 has been declared the Year of the Russian Language as a Language of Interethnic Communication in the CIS], this decision will emphasize its importance. I also thank you for showing us St. Petersburg yesterday. The city made an amazing impression on me. It is very clean. When I come back to Minsk, I will see to it that we catch up. It doesn't even feel like it's winter here. The city is so clean, spruced up. For several years I have been admiring the things that have been happening in St. Petersburg. Without your help, of course, they would be difficult to achieve. But still, kudos to the local administration too. There's a lot to learn from them."

The leaders of the CIS countries met for the informal summit in St. Petersburg on 26 December. First it was an official meeting, and then the heads of state attended an informal dinner on behalf of Vladimir Putin in honor of the leaders of the CIS countries. In general, the communication lasted more than seven hours.

The CIS heads of state met in the Russian Museum on 27 December. The program includes an informal breakfast and a tour of the museum.

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