RUSSIAN, BELARUSSIAN LEADERS MEET IN SOCHI

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SOCHI, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in his residence Bocharov Ruchei in Sochi.

Mr. Putin has offered to discuss economic issues, international cooperation and problems of the Union State as it was agreed at the Yalta summit, which focused on the formation of the Common Economic Space also involving Ukraine and Kazakhstan. He thanked the Belarussian president for accepting his invitation.

On his part, Mr. Lukashenko has proposed to consider global issues without giving attention to practical ones.

"Let us set practical tasks to the ministers," the Belarussian leader said adding that Council of Ministers of Russia-Belarus Union would meet in Minsk soon.

Mr. Lukashenko said on Friday he was going to discuss mainly oil and gas supplies to Belarus with his Russian counterpart.

Russia's is not to change its position on gas issues in the negotiations with Belarus, a source in the Russian government said.

"The Russian president declared Russia's principles on the possible solution of gas problems in Sochi last year. We voiced our proposals and got no answer," said a source in the Russian government.

According to the source, Russia is interested in selling gas to Belarus at market prices not less than to Ukraine. Russian gas transit via Belarus should also have a market price acceptable for Moscow.

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