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Putin to discuss bilateral relations, Ukraine situation with Belarusian, Kazakh leaders

March 20, 2015, 6:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The presidential spokesman specified that the leaders’ meeting will focus on Russia’s relations with Kazakhstan and Belarus rather than issues relating to operation of the Eurasian Economic Union
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Russia's president Vladimir Putin, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, and Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev

Russia's president Vladimir Putin, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, and Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev

© ITAR-TASS/ BELTA / Andrei Stasevich

MOSCOW, March 20. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Friday meet in the Kazakh capital Astana with his counterparts from Belarus and Kazakhstan - Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kremlin reported.

"The sides plan to discuss the state and prospects for development of trade and economic cooperation of the three countries, Eurasian integration processes with account for the influence of modern tendencies in the global economy," the statement said.

"An exchange of opinions on urgent international issues, first of all the situation in Ukraine, is also expected to take place," it said.

Presidential spokesman speaks about Putin’s meetings

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Ukrainian issue would surely be touched upon.

"The heads of state will certainly exchange opinions on the current state of affairs with implementation of the Minsk agreements," Peskov told journalists. "Our position is well known, and, I am convinced, President Putin will outline it with reason to his counterparts in Astana."

The presidential spokesman also specified that the leaders’ meeting will focus on Russia’s relations with Kazakhstan and Belarus rather than issues relating to operation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

The new integration association - the EEU - started operating on January 1, 2015. Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia make part of the EEU. The Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh presidents held the final meeting in late December 2014 in the process to establish the EEU.

"I ask you not to confuse this format with the EEU, it’s not an EEU summit," he said. "Focus will be not on issues relating to integration processes but on relations between the three countries, bilateral relations, as well as regional problems," Peskov said.

In the framework of today’s visit, Putin is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Nazarbayev and a trilateral meeting with participation of Lukashenko.

Situation in Ukraine

Regular talks of the participants of the Trilateral Contact Group on east Ukrainian settlement comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were held in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 10-12. Talks of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) leaders on the Ukrainian issue also ended February 12 in Minsk.

A 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements was adopted at the February talks.

The package in particular included an agreement on cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement of the situation in Ukraine, including enforcement of a special self-rule status for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

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