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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Belarus and Russian presidents discuss union

The presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, have held talks on implementing the union treaty signed between their states in January.

The two presidents were expected to focus on economic issues against a background of difficulties with the union because of differences in the legal structures and economies of the two countries.

At the meeting, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Mr Lukashenko also thanked the Russian leader for Moscow's support during what he called recent turbulent events -- correspondents say he was referring to the recent Belarus elections which have been criticised by western countries and international organisations as undemocratic.

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