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29 December 2021, 18:32

Putin hails progress in Union State integration in 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, 29 December (BelTA) - The Union State made a significant step forward in 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as he met with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko in St. Petersburg on 29 December, BelTA has learned.

"In my opinion, yesterday's meetings [informal CIS summit in St. Petersburg on 28 December] were very productive. We talked about the development of relations in the CIS. Today there is an opportunity to talk, without haste, about the bilateral relations between Russia and Belarus, the status of the Union State. Indeed, this year we made a significant step forward in the coordination of positions across the main areas," Vladimir Putin stressed.

The Russian president recalled that the parties signed 28 Union State programs to advance integration. According to him, these are groundbreaking documents that define the future of the Union State integration.

"This is primarily the approximation of finance, tax, customs and fiscal laws. This is very important and will create better conditions for the development of the economies of the two countries," the Russian head of state said.

He stated that in 2020 Belarusian-Russian trade reduced by almost 17% due to the pandemic. This year it surged by 36%. "We made up for everything that we lost in the previous year, and did even better than before," Vladimir Putin drew attention.

The Russian president noted that the parties outlined the ambitious plans on cooperation. He also thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for supporting Belarus-Russia integration. "I hope that we will cooperate just as productively in the coming 2022," he concluded.

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