Putin and Lukashenko to meet with participation of their countries' Defence Ministers

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Defence Minister of Belarus Viktor Khrenin and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu will take part in the talks between self-proclaimed President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, scheduled for 19 December.

Source: Valery Revenko, Assistant to the Minister of Defence of Belarus on International Military Cooperation, on Twitter

Quote: "On 19 December, the presidents of Belarus and Russia are expected to hold talks in Minsk on the security of the Union State [supranational union consisting of Russia and Belarus, with the stated aim of deepening the relationship between the two states through integration in economic and defence policy – ed.]. Defence ministers of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation will take part in the talks in a narrow composition".

Background:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Minsk with a large government delegation on 19 December. First, a meeting with all ministers is planned, followed by a one-on-one meeting between Lukashenko and Putin, and then a press conference will take place.

  • The parties will reportedly discuss "the process of implementing previously adopted allied programs", in particular trade and economic cooperation and joint projects "with an emphasis on import substitution", cooperation in the energy sector and security issues.

  • In early December, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited Minsk. Then, amendments to the agreement on joint regional security in the military sphere were signed with Belarus. At the same time, it was reported that Putin and Lukashenko agreed to meet in December.

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