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Lukashenko, Putin set to resolve disputable issues

MOSCOW (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said that it is possible to reach an agreement on disputable issues in Belarus-Russia relations as they met in the Kremlin on 25 December, BelTA has learned.

The Belarusian head of state agreed with the Russian president that some issues are inevitable in the bilateral relations as the two countries maintain extensive and comprehensive cooperation. “Let us be frank. No one has closer relations than Belarusians and Russians. Naturally, we are moving forward and on this way certain issues emerge. However, they are incomparable with the achievements that you mentioned citing statistics,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“Indeed, we can find common ground, because the delegations in attendance have held several rounds of negotiations. They know the issues inside and out and we are also well aware of the issues to be tackled today. It would be great to settle these issues so that we will not take the old problems into the new year,” the president said.

He expressed confidence that the parties will be able to find a solution that will benefit Belarusians and Russians.

The Belarusian head of state recalled the recent press conference by Vladimir Putin and called it a meaningful conversation with Russians. He emphasized that the topics mentioned during the press conference are important for Belarus, too, because the two countries are involved in common global issues. “Frankly speaking, some issues that we have did not originate here and were not caused by us. We are part of the global process. Therefore, the issues in the international trade, economy, politics, military matters have their impact on us. Therefore, no matter whether we want it or not, we are involved in these issues. However, they should be tackled,” the Belarusian leader said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Belarus-Russia relations have been quite successful. In his words, last year the bilateral trade rose by more than 23% to exceed $32 billion. This year the growth stood at 12% over the previous year. “Belarus has accumulated a substantial amount of Russia's FDI. Our cooperation is very diverse, which is particularly heartening. The bilateral cooperation encompasses manufacturing and agriculture and everything has been on the rise. Naturally, we have some issues. When cooperation is so extensive, some issues emerge. These issues have to do mostly with energy, however, a lot has been done in this regard, too,” the Russian president said.

“We have all reasons to be satisfied with what we have in our bilateral relations. We need to do our utmost to prevent any kinds of difficulties in the future. Despite some issues in these sectors, we have always managed to come up with solutions,” Vladimir Putin said.