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Opinions & Interviews

13 Feb 2019

Putin: Belarus is the most important strategic partner and ally of Russia

SOCHI, 13 February (BelTA) – Belarus is the most important strategic partner and ally of Russia. President of Russia Vladimir Putin made the statement as he met with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in Krasnaya Polyana on 13 February, BelTA has learned.

The Russian head of state said: “Our cooperation in the sphere of international relations, the situation in the region is important. For us Belarus is the most important strategic partner, an ally. For me it is very important to compare notes with the Belarus president about these matters, including matters of integration in the post-Soviet space.”

Vladimir Putin remarked that he would have an opportunity to talk to Alexander Lukashenko in an informal setting. “We will have an opportunity to meet and talk today, and tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. We have an extensive program for today and for the next two days,” he said.

On the whole the Russian president stated that Belarusian-Russian relations advance and grow stronger. Russia remains Belarus’ largest trade and economic partner. Financial relations advance as well. In the last few years Belarus received a large volume of loans, including within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. “Continuing the line of thought, I’d like to mention that Belarus meticulously honors its financial commitments. It allows us to work on major projects. Among other things I mean the construction of the nuclear power plant, which is nearing completion,” stressed the Russian leader. “It allows us to advance purely trade relations in various fields, including agribusiness – over 34% of the total import to Russia. I know we sometimes run into difficulties and problems. But I hope these problems will be resolved the way friends ought to deal with it.”

Vladimir Putin drew attention to the fact that energy represents one of the most important spheres of cooperation. “The volume of deliveries of hydrocarbons – oil and natural gas – remains at the level we and you agree on.”

The Russian president also said he hoped that during the visit the Belarusian head of state would have several hours to spare for recreation purposes.

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