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Lukashenko invites Putin to continue cooperation in defense sphere

Lukashenko invites Putin to continue cooperation in defense sphere

MINSK (RIA Novosti): Pr-esident of Belarus Alexand-er Lukashenko said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Belarusians appreciate Russia’s support and will not remain in debt, and suggested continuing cooperation in the defense sector, including joint exercises and the creation of centers for training military equipment.
“Remember: no matter how our relations develop, we will not remain in debt. I think that we can still do a lot. And I have asked you for a long time not to stop cooperation in the military sphere, the defense industry and the military-industrial complex,” said Lukashenko at a meeting with Putin.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko stressed that his Russian colleague has always supported him in this regard.
“I turned to you so that you do not stop our joint exercises, so that we continue to create centers to train our children in new models of military equipment, which we buy from Russia, we are doing this,” Lukashenka continued.
He added that the practice of holding joint exercises of the armies of the two countries should not be stopped, and reminded that the Russian side is considering Minsk’s proposals on such exercises on the territory of Belarus.
“I would like you to make these decisions. This will benefit the Belarusian-Russian relations,” the Belarusian president said. Putin agreed to hold joint exercises in early 2022.
Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko were held at the Consta-ntine Palace in St. Petersb-urg.
The Russian leader noted that over the past year, they managed to achieve positive results in the field of integration within the union state – in finance, customs and fiscal legislation.
“Indeed, this year we have made a significant step forward in coordinating positions in the main areas. 28 programs for the development of the Union State have been adopted,” he said.
The head of state separately mentioned the development of economic ties.
“Unfortunately, in the pandemic year of 2020, we saw a decline in the volume of trade – almost 17%. But this year, almost 36% growth. That is, we covered everything that we lost… and added almost twice,” Putin said. In this regard, the President positively assessed the decision to admit Belarusian companies to government orders in Russia.
“This significantly expands the opportunities for Belarusian enterprises. But it is also good for us, because it increases the level of competition in the market,” he said.
About military exercises
In addition, Putin spoke about plans to develop cooperation between the two countries in the military sphere.
“We will spend it at the beginning of the year, the military will agree there, in March, February, I don’t know when they will decide,” the president said.
Lukashenka also offered to continue cooperation in this area.
“Remember: no matter how our relations develop, we will not remain in debt. I think that we can still do a lot,” he said.
Lukashenko expressed gratitude to Putin for the support provided to Belarus in the context of the sanctions imposed on Minsk by Western countries.
“The point is not flattery. But the point is that any proposal that we make, or a request, you make an order to one or another person, they respond. Russian companies, the government, and banks meet halfway, supporting us in this difficult sanctions time. They continue to strangle us. Five packages have been introduced, they are talking about a sixth package. Moreover, these sanctions are brainless and useless, “he said.
The President of Belarus arrived yesterday at the informal summit of the leaders of the CIS countries. It was also attended by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Presidents Ilham Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Kassym-Zho-mart Tokayev (Kazakhs-tan), Sadyr Japarov (Kyr-gyzstan), Emomali Rah-mon (Tajikistan), Gurb-anguly Berdimuhamedov (Turkmenistan), Shavkat Mirziyoyev ( Uzbekistan ) and the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Na-zarbayev.
Lukashenka highly appreciated the results of this meeting.
“It was a very good event – kind, warm. We saw once again that the leaders of the post-Soviet republics, including Belarus, perfectly understand the situation around us, and have sorted out all the intricacies of world politics. Thanks to Russia,” he said.
According to him, this will allow further development of cooperation in this format.
“A very big shift, I am already an experienced person in this regard, has taken place in the direction of our unity – to solve issues together,” he said.
The Russian leader also commended the meeting the day before.

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