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Lukashenko says talks with Ukraine’s acting President meaningful, fruitful

The press service said the meeting lasted more than three hours

MINSK, March 29, /ITAR-TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Ukraine’s interim acting president Alexander Turchninov, who was appointed to the post by the Verkhovna Rada, reached mutual understanding on all the items of the bilateral agenda during the talks that they held Sunday in the Gomel region of Belarus, Lukashenko said in the aftermath of the meeting.

“The talks were very useful,” the presidential press service said quoting him. “We exchanged opinions on all the issues and I’m very glad at the results of our work.”

“We reached understanding on all the problems and questions that are troublesome for Usn and we can go away without any second thoughts to Minsk and Kiev today and we can be quite satisfied with the arrangements we made,” Lukashenko said.

“I’m also thankful for the frankness and warmth that you managed to contribute to the atmosphere at the meeting,” he said addressing Turchinov.

“You shouldn’t view us not only as foes or competitors, you shouldn’t even think in those categories,” Lukashenko went on. “You should be sure to know that we’ve been treating you as our closest relatives even in the years when there existed misunderstandings.”

He hailed the fact that “we are not looking at each other askance”. “We really spent a lot of years building up a belt of good-neighborliness and we’re not ready to destroy it today and there’s no need in eliminating it.”

Lukashenko stressed the importance for each Ukrainian to know in this connection that “our border is a border of friendship and not a border of division.”

“You shouldn’t apprehend any unfriendly cravings on the part of Belarusians here because neither we nor you need it,” he said.

“We will always be nearby because you are the closest and the friendliest state for us and we’ll be building our relations proceeding from this assumption,” Lukashenko said. “You should know this firmly.”

The press service said the meeting lasted more than three hours and was held in the south of the Gomel region not far from the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.