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Russia/Belarus: Parliamentary Assembly Opens First Session

Brest, Belarus, 12 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Russian-Belarusian Parliamentary Assembly today opened its first session in the Belarusian city of Brest.

The Parliamentary Assembly, set up under a recently signed union treaty between the two countries, includes deputies from both chambers of the Russian and Belarusian parliaments. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is also attending the session, while the Russian delegation is led by Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov.

Yesterday Russia and Belarus exchanged ratification documents of the treaty in a ceremony in Minsk which Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov described as a historic event. His Belarusian counterpart Ivan Antanovich said the union will help both nations overcome difficulties together and ensure their well-being and security.