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29 Mar 2014

Belarus president, Ukraine’s acting president meeting in Gomel Oblast

LYASKOVICHI, 29 March (BelTA) – A meeting of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the Ukrainian parliament Alexander Turchinov is in progress in Lyaskovichi, Gomel Oblast, BelTA has learned.

The Belarusian head of state said: “It seems to me we ought to have met a long time ago in order to share opinions about the situation not only in Ukraine but around us as well and in order to determine our future steps, relations between the two countries and the two very close nations. I think that during today’s talks we will find some common ground. I think there are a lot of common grounds that have evolved over time. We will try to bring our views closer on matters that fail to be properly understood maybe due to the lack of information”.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, in Belarus-Ukraine relations there are many other matters that are worth discussing. In particular, he reminded that he had an opportunity to talk to Alexander Turchinov several years ago when a Ukrainian delegation visited Gomel. “Back then you took care of economics together with our first vice premier. Since then you have been immersed in Belarus-Ukraine relations because you were the co-chairman of our joint commission and may know the situation in Belarus and our bilateral relations better than anyone else. This is why if need be, we can revise the issues that we once dealt with and sketch out something else in the bilateral relations,” said the Belarusian leader.

In turn, Alexander Turchinov mentioned the importance of Belarus-Ukraine cooperation. “Ukraine and Belarus are not just neighbors. They are brotherly nations that have lived, worked, and fought wars shoulder to shoulder for hundreds of years. It is very important for us to bolster relations between our nations so that no unpassable borders would emerge between our countries, so that Belarusians and Ukrainians would feel safe, could hope for aid and support of each other,” stated Alexander Turchinov.

“As the key purpose of the visit I intended to feel support, the good neighborly attitude, the friendship of the Belarusian people,” stressed the Acting President of Ukraine.

Alexander Turchinov remarked that the countries had always been able to find solutions and a way out of any complicated situations. He suggested discussing not only political matters but also economic cooperation during the meeting.

Belarus and Ukraine have traditionally been connected by tight relations in various spheres. The countries are important trade and economic partners for each other. A well-developed commodity distribution network of Belarusian enterprises that comprises over 100 entities operates in Ukraine. Manufacturing cooperation ties grow stronger and now unite 80 Belarusian and Ukrainian enterprises. Manufacturing cooperation is also promoted as part of the operation of ten joint assembly ventures, with five of them located in Ukraine.

In October 2013 a roadmap for Belarus-Ukraine cooperation in 2013-2015 was signed. The document lists the joint projects in the area of agricultural mechanical engineering that will get state support.

Humanitarian cooperation as a most important component of interstate interaction advances in all the key avenues, including in education, science, culture, sport, and interaction with diasporas.

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