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24 May 2024

Lukashenko, Putin meeting in Palace of Independence in Minsk

Lukashenko, Putin meeting in Palace of Independence in Minsk

MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin are meeting in the Palace of Independence in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Official negotiations of the leaders of the two countries were preceded by an official welcome ceremony involving an honor guard company and the performance of state anthems of Belarus and Russia.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Once again I welcome you in the Belarusian land. I am pleased that you like Minsk and the people. You have already noticed some things with an experienced eye. It is pleasant particularly with regard to the military. As you and I agreed yesterday, we have two parts: matters of security and matters of economy. We’ve always put aside economic affairs so that our governments could look into them. Today is actually a good occasion for hearing what has been done already in response to our instructions. And there are a couple of things that we should also deal with. We will also hear out specialists. They will make reports to us. During the summarizing press conference we will inform mass media about it and will tell them everything.”

“We should also hear out the heads of the groups, who are present here. They will inform us about problems if they exist. I think we are capable of making certain decisions today. In order for us to be able to make decisions in the context of what people have been talking about recently. They speak well of the fact that we are allies, that we are close and kindred states,” the Belarusian leader added.

Prior to going to the Palace of Independence Vladimir Putin laid a wreath at the Victory Monument in Minsk.

The Russian Federation president arrived in Belarus the previous evening. The Belarusian head of state welcomed him in the airport. In the presence of mass media the presidents outlined the negotiation agenda. They mentioned the intention to discuss security matters first, including the exercise meant to practice the application of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Official negotiations involving participants of the delegations will primarily focus on trade and economic cooperation.

It is worth noting that prior to the trip to Minsk Vladimir Putin had discussed cooperation with Belarus with members of the Russian government. “We touched upon virtually all the aspects: manufacturing cooperation, power engineering, agriculture, security matters. Probably half of the government was present,” he said shortly after landing in Minsk National Airport.

Official negotiations between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin in the Palace of Independence on 24 May are expected to proceed in a narrow format first. A meeting involving participants of the delegations will take place after that.

The parties are expected to discuss the state and prospects of development of the entire range of Belarusian-Russian relations: the integration agenda and the implementation of decisions made by the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the political dialogue, promotion of joint trade, economic, and manufacturing cooperation projects, efforts to reinforce security, and interaction in humanitarian affairs.

The international agenda, the situation in the region, and joint responses to emerging challenges and threats will also be traditionally in the center of attention.

In 2023 Belarus-Russia trade was close to $48.7 billion, 6.3% up from 2022. Belarus’ export exceeded $25 billion, with import at $23.6 billion. In turn, the export of Belarusian services amounted to $3.6 billion in 2023.

Belarus-Russia trade has been rising this year as well. In January-March it exceeded $12 billion, 4.2% up from the same period of last year.


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Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus