Press secretary: Medvedev, Lukashenko discuss loans, energy cooperation


The Russian-Belarusian high-level talks held at Zavidovo on Thursday focused primarily on additional measures and mechanisms that Moscow and Minsk could employ to ease the effects of the financial crisis on both economies, Russian president's press secretary Natalya Timakova told Interfax.

"The presidents have discussed in detail the additional measures, which need to be employed to prevent a slowdown in the Russian-Belarusian economic cooperation during the financial crisis," Timakova said

The talks between Medvedev and Lukashenko were held both one on one and in a wider format, involving a number of government officials from both countries, she said.

The Russian and Belarusian presidents have discussed the agreements reached at the February session of the Russia-Belarus Supreme State Council, trade and economic issues, energy cooperation and the situation on the world financial markets, the press secretary said.

In particular, the parties discussed "the possibility of employing additional financial instruments to minimize the negative trends in both countries' economies," she said.

It was agreed at the talks to hold a collegium meeting of the Russian and Belarusian finance ministries on March 20 "to further discuss future loans and other forms of economic cooperation," she said.

The talks involved the Russian and Belarusian finance ministers, Timakova added.

Moreover, most of the meeting between Medvedev and Lukashenko focused on cooperation in the energy sector, she said. This part of the talks was attended by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin she said.

"While discussing energy, the parties have mentioned technical problems in gas cooperation between Moscow and Minsk. It was also agreed to set up a working group, which will be given one month to prepare proposals on further steps to develop the Russian-Belarusian cooperation in the power industry, nuclear energy, gas sector, and cooperation between Gazprom and Beltransgaz," Timakova said. The group will be co-chaired by Sechin.

Overall, the Russian side is satisfied with the outcomes of this meeting between the Russian and Belarusian presidents, Timakova said.



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