15 Jul 2019 15:09

Lukashenko, Putin to hold informal meeting on July 17 - Belarusian presidential press service

MINSK. July 15 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin will have an informal meeting on July 17, the Belarusian presidential press service said in a statement on Monday.

"Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko will pay a working visit to the Russian Federation on July 17-18," the statement said.

"Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a plenary session of the 6th Forum of Regions of Belarus and Russia in St. Petersburg on July 18. In addition, bilateral talks between the presidents are planned [...] The presidents will hold an informal meeting on July 17," it said.

The main topic addressed in the leaders' talks will be the development of trade-economic cooperation and interaction in the Union State, the press service said.

Lukashenko said on July 9 he was not going to "decide anything secretly" with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the planned visit to Valaam.

"We aren't planning to make any secret deals in Valaam. [The trip] is the Russian president's idea. It's an Orthodox holy site. I simply must visit it. I'm grateful that he's going to give me a personal tour and will tell me how [Valaam] is being renovated and what's already been done. There's nothing secret," the state-run news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko as saying during a meeting with State Secretary of the Russia-Belarus Union State Grigory Rapota in Minsk.