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Putin Meets With Lukashenka In Sochi

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Sochi on August 22.

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka have met in Russia's Black Sea port city of Sochi.

Lukashenka thanked Putin for the invitation at the start of the August 22 meeting, and noted that "various problems" have accumulated in the two countries' bilateral relations, according to the Russian news agency Interfax.

"We have to settle some problems," Lukashenka was quoted by Interfax as saying. "However, no one will settle these problems without us."

The Belarusian strongman's visit to Russia came after he harshly criticized Moscow on August 10 for what he called a "failure to carry out its obligations as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union" (EES) --a Russian-led bloc that includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Lukashenka on that occasion said Russia competed unfairly with its partners in the bloc, and that Belarus would do its best to create "equal competitive conditions" for all the EES members.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS