The agenda covered a broad range of bilateral cooperation and international issues.
Following the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey of a Protocol on Exchange of Ratifications of the Protocol on Amendments to the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus on Ensuring Equal Rights of Citizens of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus to Freedom of Movement and Choice of Place of Residence on Union State Member States’ Territory of December 24, 2006.
The presidents of Russia and Belarus signed a joint declaration.
Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko also made press statements.
* * *
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Lukashenko, colleagues,
It is a pleasure to see you in Moscow. As we have agreed, you are making your first visit after your elections to Russia, which is only natural given the level of our political relations, the scope of our economic cooperation and the progress that we have made, to a large extent through your efforts, in joining our capabilities to resolve social matters in Belarus and Russia. All this goes to show that we always have things to discuss.
We meet frequently. Nevertheless, we have been looking forward to this official visit of yours. We are very happy that it is taking place, despite all sorts of current developments, and that you are here for a detailed discussion of the entire range of Russian-Belarusian relations.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko: Thank you, Mr President, for your hospitality.
True, we agreed in Ufa in the course of our intermediate meeting, so to speak, that prior to this meeting, our Governments and other agencies will work on all the matters that need to be resolved and then you and I will meet here in the Kremlin and consider and resolve all the remaining issues.
We are fully aware of what Russia wants from Belarus. I am certain that Russia knows full well what Belarus needs from Russia. I believe that a solution to the issues that remain open would bring our peoples even closer together. However, frankly speaking, it seems awkward to try to compare our relations to the traditional relations between states because we are so close that regular criteria do not apply.
Nevertheless, I am grateful to you for this assessment and we are ready to quickly and accurately – I know the governments have closely considered all these issues – discuss everything today and resolve all the outstanding issues.