President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, let me congratulate you once more, personally this time and here at this restricted format meeting, on your election victory.
I am sure that we will have effective bilateral cooperation over the course of your new term in office, working together to improve the Union State’s mechanisms, develop our economic ties and social sector cooperation, and coordinate our positions on the international stage.
I want to thank you for all the work achieved in these areas over these past years. We still have many tasks before us, most urgently of all, of course, the matters concerning our economic cooperation.
I am pleased to have this chance to meet with you during these events today.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Mr Putin.
We have already discussed many issues as part of the multilateral cooperation within the CIS. You spoke three times on the biggest priorities before us, and I responded too on many issues.
We share similar views on all of these matters, including on the Commonwealth of Independent States. We both said very clearly that we need this platform for cooperation, and all of the presidents have agreed in principle that we need to adapt to today’s circumstances.
I want to thank you for the support that you gave me and the entire Belarusian nation during the presidential election. We saw this clearly and value this support, given that there was an unexpectedly stormy discussion and some very substantial moments.
If you agree, we could first identify the issues in our bilateral relations and within the Union State that we could work on and discuss. In other words, we can set our agenda and decide accordingly, either working through the [Union State] Supreme State Council, or I could come to Moscow and we could sit down together for a few hours and reach some final decisions on the issues that need to be resolved.
I would like to discuss this agenda first with you, and hear your views, because with everything else going on today, we are unlikely to have the chance to talk in much depth about the actual issues here.
Vladimir Putin: Whatever format you wish, Mr Lukashenko. We would be happy to see you in Moscow at any time convenient to you.
Alexander Lukashenko: Yes, it’s probably time that I came to Moscow again.
Vladimir Putin: That’s agreed then.