President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, we meet frequently, regularly, but this time we will discuss a key aspect of our cooperation, namely the development of the Union State.
A great deal of work has been done in the previous years, one thing does not replace another – I am referring to the creation of a common market by Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia and the creation of the Customs Union. However, there are certain aspects that we take care of within the Union State. In this sense the union is more advanced, particularly if we consider the way we resolve social matters to meet the needs of our citizens.
Therefore, I am very happy to see you. We have been preparing this meeting for a while. I am certain it will be successful.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Mr Putin.
True, in December last year we discussed our relations together with Kazakhstan, mainly our economic ties. We expanded our economic union [the Eurasian Economic Union – EAEU] with the accession of Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. We considered all these issues when we met in Sochi.
At the time, as everybody knows, we paid great attention to the situation in Ukraine, when you and Mr Poroshenko agreed on a meeting of the Normandy Four in Minsk. Quite a few people did not take it seriously, although now everyone can see that the meeting was important and that the decisions made by the presidents then are being implemented today.
The media have just reported that Petro Poroshenko has signed an executive order to set up a constitutional commission, which means work on the constitution has begun, just as we discussed in Sochi. Many problems can get resolved within this framework, so this is a significant breakthrough.
We also had an extensive discussion on that night in February, during the events in Minsk. While today, as you correctly noted, we have the opportunity to formalise all our negotiations by making specific decisions. These are complicated times everywhere in the world and they require decisions. I believe you and I will make these decisions.<…>