17:40 GMT15 August 2020
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    MINSK (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, have discussed a number of issues in a phone conversation, including a COVID-19 medication, the Victory parade in Russia, and the mutual visa recognition agreement.

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko praised his phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, held earlier on 19 June, as open and kind, noting that there are no issues in the bilateral relations.

    "I have just talked to him. So, I convey you greetings from your boss ... We have really held an open and kind conversation. Many people here think we have some issues, but this is not true", Lukashenko said, as quoted by the Belta state news agency.

    At his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is now paying a working visit to Minsk, the Belarusian leader said he wanted to convey greetings from Putin.

    Lukashenko's press secretary Natalya Eismont said that the talks focused on the economy, among other things.

    "The heads of state have discussed further prospects and contacts. In particular, they have agreed to hold a meeting and discuss the issues on the agenda, to continue the conversation in Moscow", Eismont said, as quoted by Belarusian state news agency Belta.

    COVID-19 Response and Mutual Visa Recognition Agreement

    The two counterparts have also focused on COVID-19 response and the mutual visa recognition agreement, the Kremlin said.

    "They have touched upon several aspects of the two countries' cooperation on the fight against the coronavirus infection and its consequences", the Kremlin said in a statement.

    "In the context of the upcoming celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War, which Moscow will host on June 24 and in which Alexander Lukashenko will take part, they emphasized the great importance of this anniversary for the two countries' peoples", the Kremlin added.

    According to the Kremlin, the presidents positively assessed the finalisation of the bilateral visa recognition agreement, expected to be signed in Minsk later on Friday.

    Gov't to Rebuff Any Bank Trying to Sponsor Political Campaigns

    Lukashenko also stated that the government would cut down to size any bank — not only Russian ones — trying to sponsor political campaigns.

    Lukashenko called on media to "use facts", commenting on reports of state enterprises accounts transfer from Russian banks subsidiaries. He also said any bank meddling in others' business would be "brought down a peg".

    "We do not care whether it is a Russian, a US, a Swiss or a Polish bank. There are laws that should be respected", Lukashenko said, as quoted by the Belta news agency.

    The Belarusian government has not problems with subsidiaries of Russia's Sberbank and VEB operating in the country, Lukashenko added.

    The two presidents stressed the importance of events marking the 75th anniversary of the WWII victory, the Kremlin press service said.

    "Vladimir Putin invited his Belarusian counterpart to attend the parade. Alexander Lukashenko will attend. He will be present with his sons", Lukashneko's press secretary, Natalia Eismont, said as quoted by the Belta news agency.

    Plan to Destabilise Belarus Thwarted, String-Pullers Unmasked

    The Belarusian government has thwarted a large-scale plan to destabilize the republic, it has even unmasked "string-pullers" living abroad, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.

    "As I have been following the situation over the past 24 hours, I see that certain forces have become more active, they try to destabilize the situation in the country. We have been long witnessing it. We have managed to implement certain proactive steps and thwart a large-scale plan to destabilize Belarus — this is neither a joke nor scaremongering — and lead the country to some Maidan [2014 Ukraine protests]", Lukashenko said, as quoted by the state news agency Belta.

    "We have unmasked both local puppets and the string-pullers sitting outside Belarus," the Belarusian leader added.

    Lukashenko expressed the belief that both Belarus was not in the focus of political interests of both the West and Russia.

    Tags:
    Victory Parade, Vladimir Putin, Alexander Lukashenko, relations, Belarus, Russia
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