President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, friends,
Mr Lukashenko and I have just attended the Forum of Russian and Belarusian Regions, which is a very useful platform for developing and strengthening direct ties between our regions. The main theme of this year’s forum is very interesting and important – innovative development and digital technologies. It is a real attempt to look into the future.
However, there are many issues we plan to discuss as well. We have a packed agenda. We are very glad to see you and to discuss all aspects of our cooperation in a calm and business-like atmosphere, including the economy, some elements of our international activities, and the coordination of our positions on the international stage and with regard to security. We have many common plans and interests.
We are happy to see you. Once again, welcome to Moscow.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Mr Putin, thank you for the traditionally warm welcome and attention to our delegation.
These are very important events indeed, and it is good that both of them are being held in Moscow. Nearly 800 professionals from our regions have met at this forum, which is a wonderful opportunity for them and also for the regional leaders, as well as us, to discuss various development issues and exchange opinions. It was a good meeting. Such meetings boost morale and help you see that life is moving forward, which only happens when people in the regions do not stand still. They have indeed achieved a great deal.
There is still a long road ahead, as I have said. At this point, the main issue is import substitution. We must show to the world that we are self-sufficient states and nations, and that we have done a great deal in this respect. I believe that the decisions we take at the meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State today and the deeply researched materials that have been submitted by the Council of Ministers will boost the integration of our countries into a true Union State.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.