Putin due to have integration talks with Lukashenko in St. Petersburg on July 18
MOSCOW. July 3 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will discuss integration issues with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on July 18.
"Numerous events dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the [Russia-Belarus] Union State are taking place this year. We intend to further our close integration with Belarusian partners," Putin said while receiving credentials from foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin on Wednesday.
"The issues will be discussed during negotiations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko scheduled to take place on the sidelines of the bilateral Forum of Regions in St. Petersburg on July 18," Putin said.
"Belarus is Russia's closest ally," Putin said. He congratulated the administration and people of Belarus on the state holiday, Independence Day.
New Belarusian Ambassador Vladimir Semashko presented his credentials to Putin on Wednesday.