Lukashenka: Problems in Belarusian-Russian relations must be solved here and now

If relations between Belarus and Russia are marred by some problems, they need to be solved "here and now," Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday in Minsk, speaking at a session of the Supreme State Council of the Belarusian-Russian Union State.

Mr. Lukashenka expressed opposition to the practice of placing problems between the two countries on the agenda of larger groupings, namely the Eurasian Economic Union. "I think we should not do that in the future because we are capable of solving existing issues within our Union," the Kremlin`s press office quoted him as saying.

There is no need for Belarus and Russia to discuss bilateral problems with third countries, Mr. Lukashenka stressed. He warned that the Union State`s Permanent Committee needed to secure "systemic and regular" cooperation between the two countries` ministries and other government agencies.

Mr. Lukashenka revealed that he had directed that any talks with Russia should involve Grigory Rapota, state secretary of the Union State. He stressed that any problems in bilateral relations should be considered by the Union State`s Permanent Committee.

Mr. Lukashenka said that all Union State bodies nedded to be involved in carrying out key programs relating to the Union State`s development. "I am confident that only through joint forces will we able to overcome the challenges that the international situation is putting us through," he said. "It is this approach that fits the principles of our integration project."




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