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Putin, Lukashenko to discuss Ukraine crisis, economic contacts between Russia, Belarus

July 02, 2014, 9:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Moscow stresses that "the relations between the two countries develop dynamically on the principles of allied relations and strategic partnership"
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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. The situation in Ukraine will be one of the main subjects of discussion at Wednesday's meeting between the presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. The meeting will be held in Minsk where the Russian president will arrive for a brief working visit.

The Kremlin press service reported, "Putin and Lukashenko are expected to discuss key topics on the regional agenda, including prospects for a settlement of the situation in Ukraine, and further work to strengthen the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with due regard for the chairmanship of Minsk in the CIS, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization which this year is presided over by the Russian Federation".

Presidential administration analysts believe that "the foreign-policy interaction between the two countries is of systemic and multi-aspect nature". "Russia and Belarus act from common or similar positions on key international problems, and closely cooperate at the UN and other universal and regional organizations," Kremlin officials said.

Moscow stresses that "the relations between the two countries develop dynamically on the principles of allied relations and strategic partnership". 

"The two presidents are to to exchange views on preparation for ratification in national parliaments of the Treaty on a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in Astana on May 29," an RF presidential press service official said.

The legislatures of the participating states are expected to ratify the Treaty before the yearend and the EEU will begin to function on January 1, 2015. The EEU will form a common market with an overall population of over 170 million, a free movement of capital, goods, services, and workforce.

The Russian presidential press service expects that "special attention during the meeting will be devoted to matters of current importance concerning trade-and-economic cooperation". Last year's bilateral trade turnover stood at $39.7 billion. Within the January-April period of 2014, trade turnover amounted to $10.1 billion, decreasing by 14% as compared with that in the corresponding period of 2013.

A Kremlin official recalled that the construction of a Belarusian nuclear power station is the major joint hi-tech investment project. Capital investments amount to $10 billion. The first power unit is to be energized in 2018.

Russia-Belarus integrational cooperation develops intensively both in the Customs Union, in the Common Economic Space, and through the channels of the Union State of Belarus and Russia (USBR). About 40 interstate economic, defense, and social programs and projects are being implemented. These are financed from the USBR budget.

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