Lukashenko: Belarus, Ukraine To Implement Agreements At End Of May

GOMEL, Belarus -- Yushchenko arrived in Gomel to meet President Lukashenko. During the meeting, Yushchenko and Lukashenko are expected 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.

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko (R) and Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko meet in Gomel May 6, 2009.

President Alexander Lukashenko said the prime ministers of Belarus and Ukraine would start implementing the agreements between the two countries at the end of May.

Summing up the results of his talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Wednesday, Lukashenko said: “At the end of May our prime ministers must meet. They should take decisions on economic and humanitarian projects.”

In his words, ahead of the prime ministers’ meeting the Belarussian-Ukrainian commission on trade and economic cooperation should gather for a session.

Lukashenko noted that progress in relations between the heads of government had an impact on the economy and the people’s life. “If the prime ministers implement all tasks the effectiveness will be much more.”

By building relations with Ukraine Belarus believes that Kiev “is our good neighbour”, Lukashenko said.

Yushchenko said the meeting focused on a wide range of issues, as well as regional problems. “The talks centred on measures to overcome the effects of the world crisis,” Yushchenko said.

In his view, both parties will finalise the implementation of all agreements as part of Lukashenko’s visit to Ukraine. “Inter-governmental documents may be signed,” he said.

Yushchenko said special attention had been riveted to humanitarian issues. “We discussed problems of ethnic minorities,” he said. “As a whole Ukraine and Belarus have no serious problems in relations,” Yushchenko added.

Lukashenko said the participation in energy projects jointly with Ukraine was useful for Belarus. “We talked much about energy issues.” “We want all projects to be supported and realised,” he said.

Yushchenko said he showed interest in cooperation in the energy sector and energy transit. He said it was necessary to prepare the feasibility study of a project on Caspian oil supplies to Belarus and Europe.

“Ukraine, Belarus and other partners have chances to realise joint projects in order to meet their interests,” the Ukrainian president said.

Yushchenko said his country and Belarus sought to take part in the Eastern Partnership projects. “We have very close positions. Our countries are interested in concrete projects within Eastern Partnership that may have a positive impact on the economic situation of our countries.”

In his words, “the summit on Eastern Partnership to open in Prague on Thursday will give an opportunity to reach concrete projects.”

According to Lukashenko, the participation in Eastern Partnership meets the interests of the Belarussian people. “We take part in European affairs in order to meet the interests of our people and our economy,” the president pointed out.

Lukashenko and Yushchenko agreed to organise a meeting of the heads of government shortly. “We discussed many projects, including in the energy sector and transit, as well as in the humanitarian field.”

In his words, during the talks, “we agreed to formalise the implementation of the earlier reached agreements. It’s desirable this problem to be solved this month”.

The tete-a-tete talks lasted for four hours. Then other members of the delegations joined the talks.

“Maybe, we had certain problems that should be solved. That is why we invited you to discuss them,” Lukashenko said.

Yushchenko and Lukashenko met 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.

Source: ITAR-TASS

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