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Belarus, Russia reiterate readiness for compromises in addressing disputes

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia have reaffirmed their commitment to searching for compromises while addressing disputable issues, Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters following the recent session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in Minsk on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

“Disputable issues that arise sometimes in Belarus-Russia relations will be traditionally handled in the spirit of mutual understanding and compromise. This is already being done by our authorities. The commitment to this has been reaffirmed during my meeting with Vladimir Putin and during the session of the Supreme State Council,” the Belarusian leader said.

In his words, the parties are set to go on with a constructive dialogue across all areas of cooperation. “We will take maximum advantage of the opportunities offered by the Union State to boost sustainable development of our countries and improve living standards of our nations,” the president said.

“I am convinced that today we have managed to give a powerful impetus to the fraternal partnership of Belarus and Russia,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

He emphasized a special format of the Supreme State Council. “It looks like Belarus is the only country where Russia's entire political establishment goes all at once. We appreciate that,” the Belarusian leader said.

The Supreme State Council session discussed bilateral cooperation, integration and economic contacts.

“Our project is a sustainable platform for strengthening Belarus-Russia relations. The major goal remains unchanged – faster social and economic development of the two states and higher living standards for our peoples,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko stated that last year the mutual trade returned to a stable growth path and keeps growing ever since. “We need to ensure further expansion of trade relations including through the establishment of an equal competitive environment. We devoted much of our time to this topic during today's meeting," he said.

The parties also discussed the priority areas of the Union State development for the next five years. One of the key instruments for achieving development goals is to improve the system of interaction between relevant organizations of Belarus and Russia. This task has been vested on the Standing Committee of the Union State.

Close consideration was given to interregional cooperation as a major component of bilateral ties. Alexander Lukashenko noted that more than 80 regions of the Russian Federation maintain trade and economic relations with Belarus. Three hundred cooperation agreements have been signed between regions and municipalities.

The president recalled that Mogilev will play host to the Fifth Forum of the Regions of Belarus and Russia in October this year and invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend this forum.

“We also talked about the importance of coordinating the work of the foreign ministries. Our countries have common positions on major global issues, and support each other in international organizations. This is how it will always be,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko hailed the importance of the program of concerted action in foreign policy for 2018-2019. “We will continue to coordinate approaches to the problems of regional and pan-European security, and jointly counteract new challenges and threats," he said.

After the end of the Supreme State Council session Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin exchanged gifts. The Russian president received a picture of Saint Petersburg, which is Vladimir Putin's native city. The Belarus president received a set of souvenirs and a samovar with symbols of the world football championship.