Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the Union of Russia and Belarus should first of all "secure equal conditions and rights for our citizens and economic agents," he said when opening a meeting with his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the Kremlin.
The building of the Union is "a laborious process", as "we are creating a single state", one that has never existed before, Putin said.
Pointing out that "there have always been difficulties" Vladimir Putin recalled that Russia was still dividing powers among federation constituents and municipalities.
A lot has been done recently within the framework of the Union, he believes. Russia "has taken important steps forward," having unified with Belarus fuel prices, gas in particular, and railway tariffs, Putin said.
Belarus has also made a definite progress in these directions, the Russian president pointed out.
The two presidents "comply with all the schedules and agreements of meetings," Putin stressed with satisfaction. The two countries' governments "are going forward and, though not without dispute, coordinate their stands," which allows them to develop bilateral relations.
Today's meeting "is an opportunity to sum up the discussion of the present-day agenda" and to exchange opinions on global problems with much account to the situation development, the Russian president believes.