Union State programs and a new loan: Putin and Lukashenka hold talks in Moscow

Putin said he had asked Lukashenka to come to summarize recent work on the formation of the Union State.

This has been their fifth meeting since the beginning of the year.

Joint press conference of Putin and Lukashenka on the results of Russian-Belarusian talks in Moscow on September 9, 2021. Photo: kremlin.ru

According to the Telegram channel of RIA Novosti journalists from the Kremlin’s entourage, initially, Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka planned to meet one-on-one, without ministers, and after that, they would speak with the press about their agreements. But they were not planning to sign anything that day.

“We need to make sure we are on the same page, finalize some issues and allow the governments to finalize some of these agreements in the very near future — I think they are even going to meet in Minsk tomorrow,” Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of the meeting.

Lukashenka and Putin’s four-hour talks took the form of a working lunch, followed by a press conference.

The main results of the joint meeting:

  • all 28 programs on the Union State were agreed upon and signed;
  • it was decided to remove all restrictions on COVID concerning air transport;
  • the price of Russian gas for Belarus in 2022 will be the same as this year;
  • the total amount of loans from September this year to the end of 2022 will be about 630 million dollars;
  • formation of a common defense space for Russia and Belarus to ensure security;
  • creation of a single market of oil and petroleum products, and an agreement on a single electricity market.
  • the decision on the introduction of the single currency has been postponed so far, said Lukashenka.

Further, on September 10th, in Minsk, the prime ministers of the two countries will discuss the projects of the allied programs.

During the meeting, a protest against the integration of Russia and Belarus was held near the Russian embassy in Warsaw.

Protest action against the integration of Russia and Belarus near the Russian embassy in Warsaw. September 9, 2021. Photo by: Belsat

The action was organized by “Narodnaya Hramada” of Mikalai Statkevich. About a dozen people participate in the action.