Putin, Lukashenko to continue series of bilateral meetings in Sochi on Wednesday

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MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Wednesday meet with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi to continue a series of bilateral meetings concerning some of the most pressing issues on the bilateral agenda.

According to the Kremlin press service, the two leaders will discuss “key bilateral issues and the prospects for boosting integration processes in Eurasia.”

Meanwhile, Lukashenko’s Spokesperson Natalya Eismont told TASS last week that the agenda of the upcoming meeting would include “the most pressing issues concerning Belarusian-Russian cooperation, including the activities of a joint group established by the two presidents’ decision.”

In December 2018, Putin and Lukashenko decided to set up an intergovernmental working group to boost integration. The group is co-chaired by Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin and Belarusian Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi.

Wednesday’s talks will be the first Russian-Belarusian summit in 2019, but the two presidents also met twice late last year – on December 25 and 29. The current presidential schedule also envisages two meetings within a short period of time – Putin and Lukashenko will meet on February 13 and will hold an extended meeting with the participation of the two states’ ministers in charge of education, culture and sports two days later.

The Russian and Belarusian presidents agreed to hold another meeting during their telephone conversation on January 31. According to earlier reports, they plan to discuss the implementation of agreements reached at their Moscow talks in late 2018.

The Belarusian president began his visit to Russia on Tuesday evening.

Last year, Lukashenko visited Russia eight times, including four visits for working talks with his Russian counterpart and two visits to take part in the summits of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). During his remaining two visits, he attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup games in Russia.

The Belarusian leader visited Russia 98 times in the period between 2000 and 2018.

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