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Putin In Minsk To Mark World War II Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, share a laugh during a exhibition hockey match in Sochi in January.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Minsk to participate in events marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from Nazi occupation.

The Russian president is expected to lay a wreath at the Victory Monument and take part in the unveiling of a new building at the Great Patriotic War History Museum.

According to the Kremlin, Putin is visiting the capital at the invitation of his Belarusian counterpart, Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

The two presidents will discuss bilateral relations and issues linked to the regional integration process.

Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan are member states of a Russia-led Customs Union, which is expected to start functioning as the Eurasian Economic Union, modeled on the EU, as of January 1, 2015.

Based on reporting by Interfax,, and ITAR-TASS