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24 May 2024, 18:31

Putin explains choice of Belarus for one of his first foreign visits as reelected president

MINSK, 24 May (BelTA) - Russian President Vladimir Putin explained the reason behind the choice of Belarus as one of his first foreign visits after assuming the president's office as he spoke to the media following the talks with his Belarusian counterpart Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 24 May, BelTA has learned.

“This trip is one of the first foreign visits after assuming the office of the president, after the formation of the new government of the Russian Federation. By paying this visit I would like to emphasize the importance that Russia attaches to fraternal ties with our nearest neighbor, a reliable ally and a truly strategic partner,” Vladimir Putin explained.

According to him, the current talks have been very productive, with the participation of deputy prime ministers and ministers to discuss all the key issues of Belarusian-Russian cooperation in the economy, security and defense, cultural and humanitarian dimension.

Speaking about the Union State development, the president stressed that in accordance with the decision of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of 29 January 2024, new promising areas of integration have been defined. The plan of specific measures to further deepen economic cooperation, minimize the damage caused by illegal Western restrictions, to promote technological development and import substitution is at the final stage of agreement.

Vladimir Putin emphasized that the trade between the two countries has been steadily growing from year to year. “Russia as the main economic partner of Belarus accounts for about 60% of the Belarusian foreign trade. Last year mutual trade went up by more than 5% to reached a record-high of $46.5 billion,” the Russian leader said. In his words, although this figure is calculated in U.S. dollars, over 90% of all payments in Russian-Belarusian commercial transactions are made in national currencies. “We can say that mutual trade and investments are protected from the influence of third countries and negative trends in the world currency markets,” Vladimir Putin said with confidence.
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