SOCHI, 21 September (BelTA) – I hope the issues of the Belarus-Russia agenda will be settled by the end of the year, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and top government officials of the two countries in Sochi on 21 September, BelTA has learned.
“We strictly honor our commitments, agreements, both Belarusians and Russians. You have put it right: we agreed to have an extended meeting here, with specific people involved. I should tell you that both Belarusians and Russians (the governments) worked really hard after that. The premier told me after the meeting with the Russian prime minister that they came up with some out-of-the-box solutions to many issues. If we move in this direction, I am sure we will be able to settle almost all the issues by the end of the year,” the Belarusian head of state said.
“They [issues] are not that complicated, though some are quite challenging from the financial standpoint, as they involve significant financial flows. Nevertheless, they should be addressed. A lot has been done to address issues in agriculture and in the oil and gas industry. I do not think we will encounter significant problems while tackling these issues,” Alexander Lukashenko added.
Vladimir Putin noted that the previous meeting with Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi focused on current issues and the future of the bilateral relations and integration projects involving Belarus and Russia. “We agreed to have an extended meeting. After all, significant changes have taken place in the Belarusian government. We need to compare notes on some matters. Several issues should be finalized,” the Russian leader said.
He noted that many disputes arose in multiple areas a short while ago. “For example, we need to sort things out with agriculture and energy. Therefore, we agreed to meet in an extended format,” the Russian president said.
Belarus and Russia enjoy a good level of interstate relations in all the areas, including politics, economy, social sphere and culture.
Russia is Belarus' major trading partner. In 2017, the bilateral trade stood at $32.4 billion, up by 23.5% over 2016. In January-July 2018, the trade amounted to $20.4 billion, up by 15.2% over the same period a year before.
In 2017, Russia accounted for $3.7 billion or 38.1% of foreign investments raised by Belarus.More about President