Russian, Belarusian leaders to meet next week: Kremlin

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 30, 2017 9:39 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in the Russian city of St Petersburg on April 3, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

Russia and Belarus are traditional allies, but relations have become strained since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014, a move that Lukashenko has described as a "bad precedent".

Moscow and Minsk are in a dispute over the price that Belarus pays for imports of Russian gas, and over a reduction in the volumes of crude oil that Russia ships to Belarus.

Peskov, on a regular conference call with reporters, said the disagreements between Minsk and Moscow over trade would be on the agenda for the April 3 meeting.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Christian Lowe)