President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, please accept my congratulations once again on the coming holiday. Thank you for coming to Moscow.
I know that you are preparing for the holiday and for the world ice hockey championship. This is a busy time for you, but you found the time to come here. I don’t find this surprising: both Russia and Belarus, as former parts of the Soviet Union, made a great contribution to the victory and bore enormous losses in the struggle against Nazism. Therefore, it is only natural for us to be together on this holiday.
I am also very happy to have the opportunity to discuss with you the entire range of bilateral relations both in the economy and the social sphere, and of course say a few words about our joint actions within the Customs Union and our plans for setting up the Eurasian Economic Union.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Mr Putin, for your congratulations.
Once again, as I already said yesterday, I would like to congratulate all Russians on this great holiday. True, we were together during that period, and after the war, and we are together now. My colleagues and I were discussing the future anniversary – 70 years of Victory in the War, and I think you and I should consider how the people of Belarus and Russia and the Russian Army can commemorate this. I believe it would be logical for our units to take part in the parade on Red Square, especially given that we always invite Russian army units to take part in our parade, and they always do. Therefore, I think that if you agree, we will work on it and honour it once again 70 years after our victory.
Second, as you may know, in line with our agreement I spent half of yesterday with the Government of the Russian Federation. We worked very fruitfully with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, with the deputy Prime Minister and ministers. We considered a wide range of issues dealing with the finalisation of certain parts of our Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union and the Customs Union. I will brief you on this, and I am sure Mr Medvedev has already informed you about this.
Third, I will not deny that we are very concerned about the developments in Ukraine. I am not referring to our fears or to how we are being intimidated, but to what is going on there. The developments in Odessa are simply unimaginable. I would like to have a frank discussion, behind the scenes, so to speak, about the situation in Ukraine and to coordinate our actions, because clearly, this crisis is not going to end tomorrow, and it has a direct impact on you and on us.
And fourth, something I already touched upon: the so-called – I stress the word so-called – sanctions, the attempt to put pressure on Russia. Naturally, this has an impact on us as well. I am convinced we need to mobilise our reserves so that we can multiply what we have without any handouts or promises from the West.
This is the set of issues I would like to discuss with you today, maybe briefly, but we would align our positions on all of them.
Vladimir Putin: With pleasure.