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Putin To Meet With Presidents Of Belarus, Kyrgyzstan

Russian President Vladimir Putin is to meet with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev and Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka this weekend in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov told reporters in Moscow on February 6 that Putin will meet with Atambaev on February 7 and with Lukashenka on February 8.

The meetings will coincide with an annual security conference in Munich on February 6-8 that is expected to be dominated by discussion of the conflict in Ukraine.

Belarus and Russia are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, which also includes Kazakhstan and Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan is slated to become a member in May.

The grouping is one of several organizations Putin is counting on to strengthen ties between former Soviet republics and offset Western influence.

Putin will also attend a meeting of Russia's main labor-union alliance, which is being held in Sochi on February 7-9.

Based on reporting by Interfax, TASS, and RIA Novosti