Top meeting of heads planned to discuss regional problems

Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the initiative of a meeting of presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine

By Vladimir Khromov

Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the initiative of a meeting of presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine

presidents.pngWithin these days the President of Belarus held phone conversations with the Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Alexander Lukashenko talked with Vladimir Putin over the phone twice. The two Presidents discussed in detail the functioning of the Eurasian Economic Union against the background of Russia’s embargo on a number of foreign products, and the issues related to the transit of banned goods via Belarus.

Mr. Lukashenko and Mr. Putin also touched upon the situation in Ukraine in connection with the country’s signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union, and the ban on the import of certain Ukrainian goods to the Russian Federation.

Mr. Lukashenko was briefed on problems that arose with the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian population living within the territories of combat operations.

The parties talked over the initiative to hold a meeting of the Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The President of Belarus suggested holding it in Minsk long ago, in order to discuss the issues Ukraine can have with the Customs Union, following the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU and continuing confrontation on its territory. Mr. Lukashenko first suggested considering the idea at his recent meeting with leaders of the communist parties of Russia and Ukraine, Gennady Zyuganov and Petro Symonenko.

Discussing its possible format, the Presidents of Belarus and Russia stressed that any stakeholders can attend the meeting.

The same issue was the main topic of a phone conversation between Alexander Lukashenko and his Kazakh counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Mr. Lukashenko informed his colleagues about a phone conversation with President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko. Apart from bilateral co-operation, the Presidents of Belarus and Ukraine have also discussed Ukraine’s relations with the Customs Union and a possible format and the place for the meeting between the heads of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Presidents have agreed to continue active contact across the determined issues.

President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, during his visit to the Bereza hydroelectric power station, again noted that Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, are ready to conduct a meeting in Minsk with the President of Ukraine, to discuss acute issues.

“Such an idea exists, because there are many issues the parties need to discuss,” noted the Head of State. One of them is Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the European Union. “We’re very concerned about it. We don’t want EU products to come from Ukraine at a zero customs rate and strangle the economies of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. These apprehensions are natural. Any country would not want it, so we’re very concerned about it,” noted Mr. Lukashenko.

“Secondly, we need to discuss Russia’s decision to ban the import of some food and the impact of this ban on the Customs Union,” underlined the Belarusian leader.

“I suggested inviting Petro Poroshenko to join our discussion of these issues and issues facing Ukraine. We will discuss them if Poroshenko is willing. After all, these problems need to be discussed anyway. They are very important for Ukraine, because Russia is gradually closing its market for some products from Ukraine. The products in question are alcoholic beverages, dairy and meat products,” added Mr. Lukashenko.

He also mentioned that he had spoken twice with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin and the Kazakhstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev the day before, and they did not mind attending the meeting. According to Mr. Lukashenko, he had also discussed the issue with Petro Poroshenko.

“Nobody rejects this idea. All of them are ready to come to Minsk. Proposals were put forward to even engage some other parties in the talks, like the European Union or the United States, provided they are interested in stabilising the economic, military and political situation. If so, let us meet in Minsk and discuss it. We do not reject anyone. This is the shared position of the three Presidents of the Eurasian Economic Union,” noted the Head of the Belarusian State.

“I would like to emphasise again that Minsk is willing to host anyone, Europeans, Americans or Africans, literally anyone, to get some traction on the situation,” stressed Mr. Lukashenko.

He reiterated that the three Presidents of the Eurasian Economic Union share their views on the issue. Now the decision is up to Ukraine. “If it decides to discuss these issues, we will meet and discuss them. If not, that’s their choice,” asserted the President of Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko:

“I suggested inviting Petro Poroshenko to join our discussion of these issues and issues facing Ukraine. We will discuss them if Poroshenko is willing. After all, these problems need to be discussed anyway. They are very important for Ukraine, because Russia is gradually closing its market for some products from Ukraine. The products in question are alcoholic beverages, dairy and meat products.”
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