Meeting with review Belarus-Russia cooperation

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Strategic issues, especially in economy, will top the agenda of the Belarus-Russia summit talks in Minsk on 19 December, Belarusian head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to review the Belarus-Russia cooperation in Minsk on 16 December.

The head of state recalled that intensive Belarus-Russia talks will be held at the highest level in the coming days. The main item on the agenda is economy. "Not so long ago, in the course of conversations with the Russian leadership we agreed that such negotiations would be held before the end of the year. At the highest level we will analyze in detail the problems that require urgent solutions. All of them are directly related to the economy, the stability of financial systems and the well-being of citizens," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He explained the reason for the frequent meetings with the Russian leader recently, and how the upcoming talks in Minsk will differ from the previous ones.

"The difference is simple. Earlier, when we met with the President and the leadership of Russia we discussed tactical issues. There was no getting away from this, because massive sanctions were imposed against Russia and Belarus. 900 or something sanctions were imposed against Russia... Well, they sanctioned Belarus by extension to make sure Russia as they say in the West could not circumvent these sanctions via Belarus. Therefore, we had to meet a lot to talk over the response to the pressure by the collective West. Those were current tactical issues. Although at every meeting we tried to look into the future through these issues," the Belarusian leader said.

At the upcoming meeting in Minsk the Presidents will discuss strategic issues. “The issues of a strategic nature, primarily in economy, will be on our agenda. Indeed, we will talk about the military-political situation around our states. Of course, we will not avoid the issues of the military-industrial complex and also defense capabilities and security. But the main thing is economy," the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin previously agreed to meet at the end of the year and remove a number of accumulated issues that arose during the implementation of 28 Union State programs. “President Putin and I approved these programs and instructed the governments, ministers and specialists to act within the framework of these programs. As I have been informed, the programs have been implemented by 60%. It's not a bad pace. But, while implementing certain programs, our governments faced the issues that they cannot solve,” the President noted. “Not because they are bad specialists, but because these are the issues within the purview of the Presidents. According to the constitutions of Russia and Belarus, these are our issues with Putin. Six months ago we agreed that we would meet at the end of the year and resolve all the accumulated issues. Probably that's all there is to the conspiracy behind the future talks."