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    Putin Arrives in Belarus for Talks with Lukashenko

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk on Thursday for talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian leader's first foreign trip since his return to the Kremlin earlier this month.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk on Thursday for talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, the Russian leader's first foreign trip since his return to the Kremlin earlier this month.

    The two presidents are expected to discuss bilateral ties, focusing on economic cooperation and Russia’s financial aid to its former Soviet neighbor, as well as international issues, including those related to the Customs Union and common economic space between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and the Union State of Russia and Belarus. 

    On Friday, Putin will travel to the Germany and France, where he is expected to hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Joachim Gauck, and French President Francois Hollande.

    Putin was sworn in as president on May 7.

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