Vladimir Putin: President Lukashenko,
Esteemed members of the Supreme State Council,
Friends and colleagues,
Today, we must discuss a number of issues of major importance for the long-term development of the Union State. This primarily implies the formation of the Union State budget and its execution.
It is important that the Union State budget, a highly important instrument of bilateral integration, match current and long-term objectives.
While assessing the execution of previous budgets, we must stipulate more concise budgetary-process parameters for 2004.
Moreover, we must assess the effectiveness of our foreign-policy programme. Although some positive results have been achieved, there are still numerous unused reserves and opportunities.
Today, we must also discuss preparations for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. This is our common heritage, and I am convinced that we must do everything possible to make the celebrations worthy of the country’s victory.