Yushchenko, Lukashenko to discuss coop, European integration

MINSK, May 6 (Itar-Tass) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko met Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in Gomel on Wednesday to discuss "a package of bilateral issues", primarily procedural formalities of the state border, trade and economic cooperation, energy and transport interaction.

"I'm very glad to meet you to talk about our contacts in political, economic and other fields. Our states are in decline," the Ukrainian president said. He showed interest in discussing cooperation in the context of European integration.

Lukashenko stressed the need to discuss the existing problems and continue the talk, which had been begun during their previous meeting in Chernigov in January. "I'm sure that we'll have a good time from the point of view of state interests," the Belarussian president said.

The meeting is being held at the remarkable sightseeing site of the city - Rumyantsevs-Paskevichs Palace.

Yushchenko arrived in Gomel left for a working trip to Gomel to meet President Lukashenko. During the meeting, Yushchenko and Lukashenko are expected to discuss The presidents of the two countries are planning to discuss Ukraine's integration into Europe and cooperation between Belarus and the European Union within Eastern Partnership. Its founding summit will take place in Prague on May 7. Yushchenko also intends to discuss with Lukashenko consular and legal issues that should be immediately solved.

During the trip, Yushchenko is accompanied by acting Foreign Minister Vladimir Khandogiy, deputy head of the presidential secretariat Andrei Goncharuk, First Deputy Fuel and Energy Minister Oleg Bugayev, Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Kravets, National Bank chairman Vladimir Stelmakh and chairman of the Security Service Valentin Nalivaichenko.



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