Peskov reveals details of negotiations between Putin and Lukashenko

Talks between Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko have ended in Sochi. The press secretary of the Russian leader Dmitry Peskov told reporters what the heads of state talked about face to face for four hours. The main topics of the conversation are in the following material.

Peskov recalled that thorough negotiations between the delegations had taken place before the summit. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin traveled to Minsk, Moscow, in turn, was visited by Belarusian officials through various departments.

“Therefore, the presidents, in fact, based their conversation on the scrupulous work done by the two sides. Of course, first of all, they discussed bilateral ties, trade and economic cooperation”, – the Kremlin spokesman added.

He explained that part of the new loan of one and a half billion dollars, announced by Putin, allocated by Moscow to Minsk, will go to refinance old debts, part – this is new funds.

According to Peskov, the main thing now in bilateral economic relations is the increase in trade.

“Documents are not an end in themselves. The goal in itself is to give additional impetus to trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Belarus. We are two closest partners”, – he said.

He also clarified that “now it is impossible” to talk about the creation of joint ventures, since this should be the result of “optimization of trade and economic cooperation”. The presidents also discussed energy supplies “constructively”, the Kremlin spokesman added.

Speaking about the internal situation in Belarus after the presidential elections and the mass protests that followed them, Peskov stressed that the Kremlin proceeds from the assumption that Lukashenko is the legitimate president of the republic.

As the presidential press secretary recalled, Putin from the very beginning called for everything to proceed in a legal manner. When asked by journalists whether the two leaders had discussed the use of force to disperse protesters in Belarus, he replied that this was not a matter of bilateral relations.

The constitutional changes in the republic, which Lukashenko spoke about, are also an internal Belarusian process, Peskov added.

“Yes, Putin has declared his support for this process, but no one should interfere in it in any way – neither Moscow, nor other European capitals”, – he stressed.

Speaking about the military cooperation of the two countries, Peskov said that Putin and Lukashenko did not discuss the issue of the deployment of Russian bases in Belarus during the talks.

He also said that statements about Russian support for Lukashenko, allegedly for the sake of such an opportunity, “have nothing to do with reality”.

Putin and Lukashenko instructed to organize a meeting of the heads of regions of the two countries.

“The exercises will be held, but there is no such issue on the agenda”, – Peskov added.

The Kremlin spokesman also noted that the presidents discussed anti-coronavirus research.

“Separately, we dwelled on the participation of Belarus in the third stage of testing the Russian Sputnik vaccine. Putin was given appropriate instructions on the preparation of the first consignment of supplies that will be intended for Belarus”, – Peskov said.

He added that the parties attach great importance to cooperation in this area.