SOCHI, February 22. /TASS/. Instruments of interaction existing between Russia and Belarus have been established and functioning well, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Monday.
"Our instruments of interaction have been well-managed, are functioning well. Not a single day has passed without our colleagues interacting with each other, resolving various issues we face," Putin said.
At the same time the Russian leader stated that the level of strategic interaction, partnership and cooperation between Russia and Belarus has been maintained, and Russia remains the largest trade and economic partner of Belarus, participating in about 50% of the country’s trade turnover.
Putin also noted that the Russian Federation is the largest investor in the Belarusian economy with Russian investments totaling over $4 bln, citing the Belarusian nuclear power plant (BelNPP) as a successful example.
"I would like to note that the Belarusian president is taking personal attention in this largest project. We also work on our traditional markets, I mean agriculture," Putin added. He noted that Belarusian products are very popular in Russia and noted their high quality and accessibility in terms of price.
According to the Russian leader, the volume of humanitarian connections between the countries remains on a very high level. "One doesn’t even have to enumerate here, we are very close people, close nations: culture, language, religion, history are common, and based not only on a relatively recent heroic past of the Great Patriotic war but also rooted in centuries," he emphasized. He noted with satisfaction that many Belarusian young people select Russian universities in order "to obtain a good profession."
The Russian leader also noted the interaction on a regional level, reiterating that meetings between leaders of regional executive structures have been conducted annually.
"This is a very important work because a significant volume of our relations is forming, has been formed at the level of regional interactions," he noted, specifying that he meant economic and human relations, especially in border districts. In conclusion, Putin expressed hope that it will be possible to discuss the entire wide range of bilateral issues during the talks.