ST. PETERSBURG, 27 December (BelTA) - In the course of informal communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin we were able to finalize many issues. Some states take years to do so, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg on 27 December, BelTA has learned.
"I thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, for Moscow, for the cosmonauts, for the center [the visit to the cosmonaut training center in the Star City near Moscow that is selecting a Belarusian candidate for a space flight out of six applicants]. I've been there, I've seen it. As for our stay in St. Petersburg. We did have a look at some things. Well, if someone, as you rightly said, thinks that we only drink tea, then I must say that yesterday we discussed a lot of issues not only over tea but also late at night when returning home. Sometimes it takes years for some states to discuss so many things over such a short period of time. Meanwhile we put many dots over the ‘i' in the evening, continuing our Minsk dialogue, since it was mainly about the economy. I thank you for the fact that many issues were finalized yesterday. The governments will fine-tune them. They should not have any complaints any longer. We have reached agreements on all issues they asked for," the Belarusian head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also thanked his Russian counterpart for the cultural program: "I thank you for the tour of the museum. You're absolutely right. Declaring the Year of the Russian Language was a right thing to do [2023 has been declared the Year of the Russian Language as a Language of Interethnic Communication in the CIS], this decision will emphasize its importance. I also thank you for showing us St. Petersburg yesterday. The city made an amazing impression on me. It is very clean. When I come back to Minsk, I will see to it that we catch up. It doesn't even feel like it's winter here. The city is so clean, spruced up. For several years I have been admiring the things that have been happening in St. Petersburg. Without your help, of course, they would be difficult to achieve. But still, kudos to the local administration too. There's a lot to learn from them."
The leaders of the CIS countries met for the informal summit in St. Petersburg on 26 December. First it was an official meeting, and then the heads of state attended an informal dinner on behalf of Vladimir Putin in honor of the leaders of the CIS countries. In general, the communication lasted more than seven hours.
The CIS heads of state met in the Russian Museum on 27 December. The program includes an informal breakfast and a tour of the museum.
As for the details of the communication between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, both presidents are staying in Strelna, the suburbs of St. Petersburg. In the morning, the Russian leader stopped by to pick up his Belarusian counterpart, after which they arrived together at the Russian Museum. The day before they also left together, which the Belarusian head of state mentioned about during the bilateral meeting in the museum.
The meeting of Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin took place in one of the halls of the Russian Museum against the backdrop of the paintings by great artists. Behind them we see the canvas "The Appearance of Christ To the People". This work is a small version of Alexander Ivanov's famous painting of the same name, which is kept in the Tretyakov Gallery. Originally the artist meant to create a painting of this size, but in the course of work he came to more monumental forms. The painting is inspired by the Gospel.