Lukashenko pledges to resolve 'any problem' for Venezuela

MINSK, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko assured his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez on Wednesday that he could find a solution to any problem facing Caracas.

Chavez arrived in Minsk after a visit to Moscow on Tuesday. The next countries on Chavez's itinerary are Portugal and Spain.

Lukashenko said that apart from economic ties between the two countries, Minsk and Caracas enjoyed "real friendship," and that Belarus was "ready to find a friendly, brotherly solution to any problem for Venezuela."

"Tell us what we need to do, and we will do it," the Belarusian leader added.

"It would have been unthinkable for us not to pay a visit to Minsk on our tour to confirm the deep feelings of friendship we have toward the Belarusian people," the Venezuelan leader said in response.

Bilateral trade between Belarus and Venezuela increased 268% in the first five months of 2008 year-on-year to almost $50 million.

Belarus exports potash fertilizers, trucks, special purpose vehicles, agricultural machinery, powdered milk and tires to Venezuela. The two countries are also involved in joint projects in oil production and refining, seismic survey, gas supplies, construction, industrial production and agriculture.

Both Belarus and Venezuela are also strongly critical of U.S. foreign policy.