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Putin says he and Lukashenko have occasions to contact each other ‘every day’

The Russian leader that the governments of the two sides worked "rather hard" this year

ST.PETERSBURG, December 27. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko held a bilateral meeting at the Russian Museum on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in St. Petersburg.

Putin recalled that the CIS leaders started their talks on Monday in an informal atmosphere. "A very good environment to talk, including to discuss serious issues, I mean our bilateral relations as well. You and I are in constant contact, nevertheless, life gives us daily occasions to discuss several issues and make the necessary decisions so that they can be solved effectively," Putin said.

Separately, he drew attention to the fact that the meeting was being held in wonderful interiors. "We’ve agreed that 2023 will be the Year of the Russian language, that’s why, I think, it is especially relevant that our working breakfast is being held at the Russian Museum," the Russian president pointed out.

Putin added that the governments of the two sides worked "rather hard". "I know that the head of the Cabinet reported to you, [Russian Prime Minister] Mikhail Mishustin told me in detail about the interactions. We already have things to discuss, that is why I am glad that we have this opportunity to meet on the sidelines of our informal summit and once again discuss issues of mutual interest," Putin concluded.

According to footage shown during a live Rossiya-24 TV broadcast, the leaders are holding a meeting in a Russian Museum hall. Behind them there is a sketch of ‘The appearance of Christ before the people’. The picture itself is a work of art of Russian painter Alexander Ivanov and resides in the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.