26 Oct 2018 17:11

Lukashenko says Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine has potential, Poroshenko stresses mutual trust

MINSK. Oct 26 (Interfax) - The Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine has potential, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Gomel, and proposed to continue holding such forums, according to the Belarusian state news agency BelTA.

"'People are happy. We reached many agreements, and many entered into contracts. So the event has a big future, and we will be ready to see you in Belarus again," Lukashenko said.

He said the next forum will take place in Ukraine. "Our big delegation will gladly visit the city of your choosing," he said.

About 150,000 people have left Ukraine for Belarus because of the Donbas conflict, and some of them are now going back, Lukashenko said. "The most important thing is that this difficult period is over. These people needed our help and employment, and we took them in as our own," he said.

Poroshenko said mutual trust had developed through his contacts with Lukashenko.

"There is confidence between Ukraine and Belarus, between Lukashenko and Poroshenko. I am positive that this confidence will evolve into security, reliability, friendship, and cooperation," Poroshenko said.

The border between Belarus and Ukraine should be one of peace, friendship, and reliability, Poroshenko said. "You and I are doing the utmost to achieve that," he said.

The first Forum of Regions of Belarus and Ukraine is taking place in Gomel on October 25 and 26. The two presidents are taking part in the second day of the forum: they will hold talks to discuss trade, economic cooperation, and investment, and will attend the plenary session.