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Economic differences top agenda of Putin-Lukashenko talks

March 30, 17:35 UTC+3 ARKHANGELSK

The presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, will meet on April 3 to discuss the two countries' relations

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ARKHANGELSK, March 30. /TASS/. The presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, will meet on April 3 to discuss the existing differences in relations of Moscow and Minsk, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Confirming the meeting, he said "bilateral relations are on the agenda". The leaders "will certainly discuss the differences that exist as different nuances in the process of Eurasian integration, and as economic differences in bilateral relations," he said.

"This is what the heads of state will discuss. And not only this," he noted. Peskov specified that the two presidents will meet during Lukashenko’s working trip to Russia.

The Russian and Belarusian presidents will meet in St. Petersburg on April 3, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters on Thursday.

Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko said on Wednesday that the two presidents would discuss "the Eurasian Economic Union’s restriction-free single market" and measures to improve conditions for cooperation and eliminate discrimination.

Since early 2016, Moscow and Minsk have been trying to come to terms on the price of the Russian natural gas supplies to Belarus. According to the Russian officials, the Belarusian gas debt has reached $600 mln. In response, Russia significantly decreased oil supplies to the Belarusian refineries. Nevertheless, on March 28, Lukashenko said that he had "perfect relations" with his Russian counterpart. He also said that the two countries’ leaders were capable of solving all issues "without turning to mediators."

Last time, Lukashenko and Putin met on November 22, 2016 in Moscow during the 70th birthday celebrations of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill.

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