President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, we had the opportunity to talk last night and this morning as well. I think that we should continue our conversation in this informal atmosphere with such wonderful interiors.
We agreed to hold the Year of the Russian Language in 2023 and I thought that it would be the most appropriate to meet today for a working breakfast in the Russian Museum.
It is a good environment to talk about serious matters, including our bilateral relations. Even though we are in constant contact, still life gives us a reason every day to discuss certain issues and make the necessary decisions to deal with them efficiently.
Our governments have been working very hard. I know that the heads of government reported to you; Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told me in detail about your contacts, so we have something to talk about today.
I am very pleased that we can meet again and discuss matters of mutual interest on the sidelines of our informal meeting.
President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Mr Putin, thank you for Moscow and for the Cosmonaut Training Centre (I have been there, and I spent quite a while touring it), and thank you for St Petersburg, we have seen quite a bit.
As you have rightly said, if anyone thinks that we just drink tea, then I would like to say that you and I discussed multiple issues yesterday, during this tea and on our way home late in the evening. Sometimes, it takes years for certain states to do this. Last evening, you and I dotted many i’s and crossed many t’s, while continuing our dialogue that started in Minsk, because it mostly focused on the economy.
Thank you for finally coordinating many issues yesterday. Our governments will finalise them. They no longer have to ask us any questions because we have done what they requested. I would like to thank you for that.
This is a difficult day for you because you are still to hold bilateral meetings. For me, this is just a morning and a tea.
Thank you for the museum. You were absolutely right in what you said about the Year of the Russian Language; it is quite appropriate, and emphasises the importance of this issue. Thank you for showing me around St Petersburg. It made a great impression on me. It was wonderful to see such a clean city. When I come back to Minsk, I will see to it that we do better. The city is so tidy, so polished and spic and span that it really does not look like winter here. For the past few years, I have been admiring what the St Petersburg authorities did in the city. Of course, it would be hard here without your assistance, but they are doing a great job, and we can learn a lot from them.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.