MINSK, June 16, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov meets with his Belarusian counterpart Vladimir Makei here on Monday to discuss the development of cooperation between the two countries, the situation in Ukraine, and interaction at the United Nations Organisation.
"During the talks in Minsk, the sides are to consider in detail topical bilateral and international issues, specifically cooperation within the scope of integrational associations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Union, anbd the Union State of Russia and Belarus (USRB), interaction at the UN and at other international organizations, relations with the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the elaboration of agreed positions on a solution to problems of current concern," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Much attention will be devoted to the Eastern Partnership programme in linkage to the situation in Ukraine and to variants of stabilising it," a Ministry official said.
"Regional matters of current importance, which include the theme of Ukraine, will be, of course, on the agenda of the talks," Dmitry Mironchik, press secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, confirmed, for his part, in response to a question asked by an Itar-Tass correspondent.
The agenda also includes a discussion of the programme for a joint meeting of the Boards of Russian and Belarusian Foreign Ministries, due to be held in October-November in Minsk.
Russia's Foreign Ministry analysts emphasize that the priority nature of Moscow's relations with Belarus is determinedly "the intensity of current interaction". Thus, the two countries' Presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, met seven times this year. The Heads of Government, Dmitry Medvedev and Mikhail Myasnikovich maintain close contacts. They held talks on April 15 in Moscow and on May 30 on the sidelines of the session of the CIS Council of the Heads of Government in Minsk.
"A regular session of the Council of Ministers of the USRB is planned for late summer and early autumn," an RF Foreign Ministry official recalled. "A continuous dialogue is also maintained by Vice-Premiers Arkady Dvorkovich and Vladimir Semashko".
The 46th session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the USRB is to be held in Brest on June 21 under the chairmanship of Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma lower houde of the Russian parliament, who will also attend the oprning of a branch of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in that city.
The Russian Foreign Ministry stresses also that inter-regional contacts play an important role in bilateral relations. Since the beginning of the current year, Russia’s six governors have visited Belarus, and on June 5-6 Minsk hosted the first bilateral inter-regional forum on effective development of agricultural complexes, where Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council upper house of parliament, headed a delegation representing 22 regions.