MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) - Belarus is Russia's number one ally and partner, Russian president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
Journalists asked the spokesman about the speculations that Vladimir Putin is visiting Minsk to get Belarus involved in the special military operation in Ukraine. "These are absolutely stupid fabrications. Baseless fabrications. With regard to the nature of our relationship... Belarus is the number one ally and partner for the Russian Federation. It is with Belarus that we have the most advanced integration regime. No one is forcing anyone. Everyone is taking the steps that best correspond to the interests of our peoples and to the interests of our Union State," Dmitry Peskov said.
The spokesperson was also asked whether the topic of the war will overshadow all other issues during the negotiations. In this regard, Dmitry Peskov noted that the Russian delegation includes Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other military officials, but still most officials who came to Belarus are "civilians".
"Relations are indeed wide-ranging, multifaceted. Today's meeting is an opportunity to take stock, to compare notes on the Union State integration programs and on the most pressing items on the trade and economic agenda, and of course, to talk about the military aspects, given the uneasy and turbulent situation around us. This is also an opportunity to exchange views on regional and international problems," Dmitry Peskov emphasized.
According to him, there are a number of pending issues on the agenda of the talks, including the gas issue. "Just last week President Lukashenko voiced criticism in this regard. He said that we are late in creating the single gas market. There are certain nuances here, which, of course, will also be on the agenda," the spokesman said.
Dmitry Peskov also noted that although Vladimir Putin did not make visits to Minsk for a while, primarily due to the pandemic, there was no pause in the bilateral relations at the highest level. On the contrary, the presidents keep in regular contact, the agenda is intensive.