MINSK, 9 July (BelTA) – The presidents of Belarus and Russia do not intend to make some secret decisions during the planned trip to Valaam Island. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Grigory Rapota on 9 July, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that many mass media, particularly opposition ones, are hotly debating the topic and assume some secret agreements would be reached during the trip to Valaam. “We are not going to make some secret decisions on Valaam. It was a proposal of the Russian president. It is a sacred place of the Russian Orthodox Church. I just have to visit the place. I am grateful that he will personally show me around and tell me how the place is being restored and what has been done. Nothing secret,” the Belarusian leader stated.
Yet Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that there are a lot of unresolved routine issues in Belarusian-Russian relations starting with Belarusian food export to Russia and ending with negotiations on prices for energy resources. It is impossible to talk about other matters – strategic ones – before the routine ones are taken care of.
“You just have to oversee it. And you should take part in these negotiations as the head of the Union State administrative office,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told Grigory Rapota. “I mean we've had so many negotiations and yet today I get reports… Promises only. The negotiation team has stumbled upon some issue – the Russian government, including Prime Minister Medvedev, promises to give all the instructions, orders in order to address issues as a package. Because they stick to a negotiation tactics of making promises and forgetting them. So these processes are being slowed down for some reason.”
“Why do I have to drag these matters into the limelight? Because I will have to meet with President Putin in St Petersburg soon. And we will have to discuss results of these negotiations. But there is nothing to discuss as of today. This is why I would like you to oversee this matter and make it clear to the Russian side that we have to come up with some results virtually within several days. So that we could work out an agenda and discuss it with President Putin in St Petersburg on 17-18 July. I don't think we can just meet and sit with each other saying nothing. Time for that is already gone,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Since there is no progress and we say nothing, then conspiracy theories come to the forefront. You know how it happens. This is why there are many issues that need to be addressed. Including the schedules for the meetings of our supreme bodies – the union government, the Supreme State Council. I think we have to come to terms here and then formalize these documents at a session of the Supreme State Council. But the Union State Council of Ministers should take a look at them first. There is no time at all. We've painted ourselves into a corner and do nothing to get out of it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded.More about President