Belarus pins great hopes on common economic space

MINSK, March 15 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Belarus pins great hopes on the Common Economic Space.

"In Belarus, we have always pinned great expectations on that union, and we see its great potential," he said at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Touching upon the bilateral Belarusian-Russian relations, Lukashenko said that "in the economy we have no problems."

He recalled that the two countries back in the middle of last year agreed to settle all outstanding questions and to begin the new year without any problems.

Lukashenko also said that both in Russia and in Belarus the existing economic problems had been brought from outside.

"But these problems are not fatal, we can go on living," he said.

According to the Belarussian president, Minsk on Tuesday would host two major events that concern the allied relations between Belarus and Russia, as well as the CES. These two projects are very important for our peoples and for the leaderships, he said.

Vladimir Putin remarked that "last year was successful for the development of Russian-Belarusian economic relations."

"The trade turnover grew by 19 percent, reaching 28.5 billion dollars, and as a whole it is developing successfully," said the Russian prime minister.

"With regard to the integration process, we can see, we know that you are a consistent supporter of integration in the post-Soviet space, and this is seen in the fact that we prepared well and within tight deadlines and adopted a number of conceptual documents related to the integration of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan within the framework of the customs union and a common economic space," Putin said.

He believes "those were very important decisions that will certainly help stabilize the economy and solve complicated socio-economic problems, especially in the context of the ongoing crisis in many European countries and the world's leading economies."

"In general, the situation in our trading and economic ties, and in other areas is developing steadily, and I am glad about the opportunity today to meet with you and with colleagues from Belarus and Kazakhstan and to talk about what has been done over the previous period, and to outline steps for the near future," Putin said.


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