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Results of presidential polls in Russia not to impact relations with Belarus - ambassador

March 11, 22:35 UTC+3 MINSK

Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surkov said that the upcoming elections will "only strengthen all cooperation formats"

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MINSK, March 11. /TASS/. Results of Russia’s upcoming presidential election will not impact the Russian-Belarusian relations, Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surkov told Belarus’ ONT television channel on Sunday.

"I don’t think they can impact our relations. We have long-standing brotherly ties between our nations and countries. We have established a Union State," he said. "We do have some strains now and then, especially in what concerns economic relations, for instance, on hydrocarbon-related matters. But I see nothing that can impact the format of our relations."

The upcoming elections, in his words, will "only strengthen all cooperation formats."

According to Surikov, the Union States is the most successful integration association in the entire post-Soviet territory. "As for the Eurasian Economic Union, it is now focused on only four economic freedoms, whereas the Union State has a wider coverage. It implies international and defense joint activities, military technical cooperation, interaction in the areas of culture and education," he said, adding that the Union State has a greater integration strength than any other post-Soviet association.

Commenting on the recent disputes over Belarusian exports to Russia, the Russian diplomat stressed that such disputes should be settled "through joint consultations between Russian and Belarusian services towards a consensus on this or that issue of product quality."

Presidential elections in Russia will be held on March 18. Eight contenders are vying for the presidential office. They are incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin, who will participate as an independent candidate, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, businessman Pavel Grudinin nominated by the CPRF, Yabloko party co-founder Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Party of Growth and business ombudsman Boris Titov, head of the Russian People’s Union party and former Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Sergey Baburin, TV host Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by Civil Initiative) and leader of the Communists of Russia Maxim Suraikin.

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