The 2001 volume commodity turnover between Moscow and Belarus will exceed 3.5 billion dollars' worth, prophesied on Tuesday Moscow's mayor Yuri Luzhkov at a meeting with Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus. Luzhkov thanked Lukashenko for his initiatives to arrange trade and economic contacts between Moscow and regions of Belarus. As of now, agreements exist between Moscow, Minsk, the Mogilev, Brest and Vitebsk regions. The achieved indicators of trade-economic relations are "a good showing of the correctness of the decisions taken", said Luzhkov. In turn, Alexander Lukashenko voiced the opinion that 3.5 billion dollars is "only the considered commodity turnover". In Lukashenko's opinion, taking notice of the economic relations, "which cannot always be considered in conditions of the market economy", the 2001 Moscow-Belarus turnover will add up to 4-4.5 billion dollars' worth. The total turnover between Russia and Belarus this year will stand at 11.5 billion dollars. In the opinion of Lukashenko, Moscow and Belarus have to target a level of 5.5 billion dollars a year. "That would be the mark for Moscow and Belarus", said Lukashenko.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated