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Meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko

December 29, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

In accordance with a preliminary agreement, Vladimir Putin met with President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow.

The two heads of state continued their discussion on current issues of bilateral cooperation.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko,

This is the second time we are meeting this week.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: More and more often. (Laughter.)

Vladimir Putin: This is good. Thank you for accepting my invitation and for coming here.

As we agreed, we are creating a working group for the further development of our economic relations and other areas and, as you proposed, we will work on our plans for the Union State development.

I propose discussing this topic today – what has been done on our part. You said you would issue relevant instructions to the Government so that our colleagues from the Belarusian side could work on it.

We will compare notes on how the work begins, or rather continues, in the areas in which we agreed to step up work at our last meeting.

And the New Year’s Eve is close: let’s wish each other a very happy New Year.

Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Mr Putin, first of all for your invitation just ahead of the New Year.

I was joking that we are tired of each other. We probably never will be, because there are issues that need to be discussed, this is our work.

Indeed, last time we agreed that we would talk seriously about our further coexistence in this difficult world; we cannot get away from it because many problems must be dealt with for the future. Therefore, I have indeed been working hard on the coordination of the same issues that we need to consider so that they would not stand in the way of our integration – just as I know you have, too.

We have formed a group in a similar way as in Russia, and made similar decisions to you in terms of the membership and leadership of the group. I think that after the holidays, as soon as the time comes, we will be ready to work, as will you here in Russia. Moreover, all the questions are spelled out in the Union Treaty; we have listed them last time. And indeed it is good that we finally came to the solution of these issues.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you. This may be a start of a good tradition to meet before the New Year.

Alexander Lukashenko: Maybe. I also want to wish a Happy New Year to you, to the Russian people, our brothers. This is a highly anticipated holiday. I know you love this holiday, as do I. Please pass on my best wishes to your family, friends and all Russians.

Vladimir Putin: For my part, I wish a Happy New Year to you and all of Belarus and all citizens of Belarus. I wish you happiness and good luck in the New Year.

Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you.


December 29, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow