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Putin Meets With Belarus, Ukraine Leaders

Presidents Vladimir Putin, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, and Nursultan Nazarbaev (left to right) of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan visit at the Independence Palace in Minsk on October 24, ahead of a CIS summit.
Before a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Minsk, Russian President Vladimir Putin participated in meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, which seeks to unite post-Soviet states in a common economic space.

Putin held brief bilateral talks with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych late on October 24.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian and Ukrainian presidents discussed Ukraine's plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

Putin told Yanukovych Ukraine would not be able to join the CIS Customs Union if the country signs the deal with the European Union.

Peskov said Putin and Lukashenka discussed the situation of Russian potash company Uralkali, whose chief executive is detained in Minsk under embezzlement charges.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax