On June 7, the 3rd Forum of Belarusian and Russian Regions opened in Minsk. Representatives of 43 Russian regions visited the Belarusian capital on this occasion. Thirteen of them are represented at the level of governors and three at the level of prime ministers.
The upper chamber of the Belarusian parliament hosted the third meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission for Regional Cooperation of the Council of the Republic (Belarus) and the Federation Council (Russia). Taking part in it were speakers of the upper chambers of the parliaments of the two countries - Mikhail Myasnikovich and Valentina Matviyenko. The main topic of the forum is social and humanitarian cooperation in the Belarus-Russia Union State.
Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
It would seem that the potential of trade and economic cooperation has been almost exhausted or at least its main directions have been exploited. However, after the forum in Sochi, another $230 million of turnover were added. Now we expect that 39 regional agreements and about 150 commercial contracts worth more than $300 million will be signed.
Valentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation:
We have had long-lasting constructive talks during which we discussed the whole range of Russian-Belarusian relations, the development of our Union State, the role of parliaments in the creation of conditions for further deepening of integration within the Union State and talked over the existing problems.
Taking part in the Forum of Regions will be the presidents of both countries. It is expected that Alexander Lukashenko will speak at the plenary session on June 8. On the same day, he is going to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting will take place at the Palace of Independence. The heads of state will discuss topical issues of the bilateral agenda, cooperation in integration associations, and international problems.