Lukashenko recalled that Belarus wanted to develop its own national vaccine and estimated that it would be built by autumn. In March, the production of a vaccine based on Russian technology will start in Belarus, he announced.
Putin argued that countries should “join efforts, including with European colleagues” on vaccines. – We are open to joint work – he said and announced that Russia will tighten cooperation with European partners.
During the talks in Sochi in southern Russia, Lukashenko thanked Putin for Moscow’s economic aid to Minsk. He informed that almost all road maps concerning the spheres of economic integration of Russia and Belarus are ready to be signed.
According to Lukashenka’s press services, he is to talk to Putin, inter alia, about joint responses to security challenges. The Russian daily “Kommersant” wrote, citing sources, that Minsk is counting on a new loan from Moscow in the amount of USD 3 billion. For his part, Lukashenko announced that he was not going to Russia to “ask for something”.
Observers estimate that Lukashenko, who usually navigates between Russia and the West, this time due to tense relations with Western countries, has much less negotiating opportunities and will have to make some concessions during the talks in Sochi.
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