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A meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Russia and Belarus took place in the Kremlin

June 27, 2000, Moscow

Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko talked privately before the expanded meeting.

The meeting’s agenda included a plan for Russian-Belarusian cooperation in foreign policy. Before the meeting, Mr Putin said that this plan was an essential factor that many people would have to accept and he stressed that it was not directed against third countries.

The meeting discussed the Union’s budget, plans for implementing the Union Treaty, the creation of a customs union, harmonising tax legislation and the scope and timing of financing for particular programmes.

Speaking with journalists about the results of the meeting, Mr Putin said that in spite of Russia’s and Belarus’ unanimous views on foreign policy, taking the actions they had agreed upon on the international stage did not require a united Russian-Belarusian foreign policy. He noted that under the Union State Treaty, both countries would keep their sovereignty and therefore have the right to hold their own views on different issues.

June 27, 2000, Moscow