Western sanctions speeding up Russia and Belarus integration, Putin Says

(VOVWORLD) - Sweeping Western sanctions are only hastening integration between Russia and Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. 

Putin also said that new union programs are already being drafted for the next three-year period, starting from 2024. He affirmed that the common priority task between the two countries in the upcoming time is to launch programs to innovate industry and technology, especially to expand cooperation in high tech.  

Also speaking at the forum, Lukashenko said that former Soviet republics should be interested in strengthening ties with Belarus and Russia “if, of course, they want to preserve their sovereignty and independence."

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