The Presidents of Russia and Belarus Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held a telephone conversation, during which they discussed transport links and energy prices. The leaders of the two countries also agreed on “personal contacts” in the near future.
The telephone conversation is reported on the website of Mr. Lukashenko. According to the press release, the conversation was held “with an emphasis on the trade and economic component.” In particular, the presidents discussed interaction “in the context of sanctions”. “It was emphasized that through joint efforts the countries will be able to overcome the emerging challenges and threats,” the website of the President of Belarus says.
In addition, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko discussed the restoration of transport links. It is planned to increase the number of flights of the Belarusian “Belavia” to the south of Russia, this issue has been instructed to work out the governments and relevant ministries of the countries. “The outbreak of a pandemic in Russia leaves its mark on this area, nevertheless, work in this direction will continue. Particular attention will be paid to increasing flights to the south of Russia – to Sochi, Krasnodar and Anapa, ”the press service said. The lifting of restrictions on the movement of motorists across the Belarusian-Russian border is also being discussed.
The presidents of the two countries “dwelt in detail on the development of military-technical cooperation and security issues.” They also discussed energy prices and the access of Belarusian goods to Russian markets, the press service of Mr Lukashenko said. “They also touched upon the situation around Belarus and the most pressing and acute issues of the regional agenda, interaction with neighboring countries. During the conversation, the presidents agreed on upcoming personal contacts in the near future, ”the press release says.
The Kremlin gave much less details of the conversation. A press release from the Russian side says that “a number of topical issues on the bilateral agenda” were discussed. The emphasis is made only on the issue of “ongoing sanctions pressure” on Belarus. “The Russian side expressed solidarity with Belarus, opposing unilateral illegitimate restrictions imposed by Western states in violation of international law,” the Kremlin said.
Today, July 1, the presidents of Russia and Belarus will take part in the videoconference mode in the plenary session of the eighth Forum of the regions of the two countries, scientific and technical cooperation will be discussed.
Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko last met in Sochi on May 28-29. As a result of the negotiations, as the President of Belarus said, it was possible to agree on minimizing the losses of Belarusian refineries from the tax maneuver in the Russian Federation. In addition, Minsk and Moscow, according to him, are working on opening flights to Crimea.
For more information on the talks in Sochi, see Kommersant’s article “Strong handshake.”