Official negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin met in the Palace of Independence in Minsk on 24 May.

Official negotiations of the leaders of the two countries were preceded by an official welcome ceremony involving an honor guard company and the performance of state anthems of Belarus and Russia.

“Once again I welcome you in the Belarusian land. I am pleased that you like Minsk and the people. You have already noticed some things with an experienced eye. It is pleasant particularly with regard to the military. As you and I agreed yesterday, we have two parts: matters of security and matters of economy. We’ve always put aside economic affairs so that our governments could look into them. Today is actually a good occasion for hearing what has been done already in response to our instructions. And there are a couple of things that we should also deal with. We will also hear out specialists. They will make reports to us. During the summarizing press conference we will inform mass media about it and will tell them everything,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“We should also hear out the heads of the groups, who are present here. They will inform us about problems if they exist. I think we are capable of making certain decisions today. In order for us to be able to make decisions in the context of what people have been talking about recently. They speak well of the fact that we are allies, that we are close and kindred states,” the Belarusian leader added.

The Russian head of state, in turn, noted that he is in constant contact with his Belarusian counterpart, and their communication being regular. At the same time, he was glad to accept the invitation to visit Belarus.

“We have an opportunity to assess what has been done, what is going on, what should be done in the near future. We have an opportunity to outline concrete joint steps for our movement forward, for the development of our states,” the Russian leader said.

As important milestones in the development of both states, the Russian President mentioned anniversary events related to the history of the Great Patriotic War. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from Nazi invaders.

This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Here, Vladimir Putin believes, the parties need to look into what remains to be done for its development. “In general, I think we are doing a good job, if we talk about the economy. Economic performance speaks for itself,” the Russian President said. In this regard, he congratulated Belarus on the successful economic development, on how confident the country feels and how firmly it stands on its feet. Separately, Vladimir Putin praised the capital and the city authorities for how beautiful Minsk looks, for the festive atmosphere that is now being felt in the streets of the city.

The President said that the discussion of the current state of affairs in bilateral relations and in terms of the implementation of specific projects took place a day earlier. “In my opinion, there are no unresolved issues. If something needs to be additionally agreed upon, we will do it in the course of today’s talks,” the Russian leader said.

During the talks in the narrow format the heads of state shared opinions on the most urgent issues on the international agenda which have an impact on the state of affairs in the economy, sustainable development of the countries. They also discussed the international situation, variants of response to risks and threats emerging along the perimeter of the borders.

A meeting involving participants of the delegations took place after that.

“Against all odds Minsk and Moscow preserve the policy in favor of stronger integration. We support each other and will support in all areas. Moreover, our projects have already gone beyond the earth surface,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the head of state, the parties plan to continue work on the implementation of joint import-substituting projects in microelectronics, mechanical engineering, machine-tool construction, military-technical cooperation. “In other words, these are the areas that ensure the achievement of the goals of technological sovereignty and economic security of our states. You, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and I have made all the necessary decisions. The governments should implement them as soon as possible,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“First of all, it is necessary to promptly finalize the formation of a common industrial policy of the Union State. Both sides will benefit from it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In this regard, he noted that many assembly lines at the enterprises of Belarus and Russia work on each other's components. “There should not be any protective measures against partners at the legislative level. We should protect ourselves from those who have imposed sanctions against us and also from those who do not contribute to the development of the economies of the two countries,” the President said.

The head of state noted that smooth work of the manufacturing sector and the cost of end products depend on energy industry. “It is necessary to finally agree the terms of shipping oil and natural gas to the Republic of Belarus. We have been discussing it for years. Today Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin] made the relevant decision. I think the governments will polish these agreements along these guidelines within the next few days. We have discussed all the details,” the President noted.

Belarus is also ready to continue working with Russian companies in the sphere of nuclear energy industry. The experience of construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant has opened up new possibilities for further mastery of these technologies, for training qualified personnel, and even for the joint construction of such facilities in third countries.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that a lot had been done in matters concerning transport and logistics, but needs of enterprises grow day by day. This is why more serious investments are needed into the development of railway infrastructure, renewal of the rolling stock, increasing the transportation capacity, and financial support for air carriers.

“Measures are needed to increase the workload of Belarusian and Russian airports. Joint projects are needed to make communication between our regions simpler and more affordable. Although quite a lot has been done recently,” he stated.

During the talks, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the potential of cooperation at the regional level, which provides a significant increase in mutual trade.

Vitebsk, Polotsk and Novopolotsk will host events as part of the annual Belarusian-Russian Forum of Regions on 27-28 June. The Belarusian head of state invited the Russian President and other Russian officials to take part in the forum.

“I think we will reach the final agreement on the issue closer to the event depending on our working schedules,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko wished every success to the new Russian government. “I am confident that the new government will preserve continuity in terms of priority consideration of the issues related to Belarusian-Russian cooperation,” he said.