: RFE/RL: Minsk, Moscow must stem decline in trade - Russian official

10:26 Jun. 5, 2016

RFE/RL: Minsk, Moscow must stem decline in trade - Russian official

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shake hands during their meeting in Minsk, Belarus, Feb. 25, 2016 (AP Photo)

Belarus and Russia have been hit hard by lower energy prices and international economic sanctions over Ukraine crisis 

The speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament says that Russia and Belarus must work together to halt a noticeable decline in bilateral trade.

Valentina Matviyenko said during a visit to Minsk on June 4 that trade turnover had fallen recently by some 15 percent, mainly due to the devaluation of the countries' currencies and a "complicated world economic situation."

Belarus and Russia, which formed a union state some 25 years ago, have been hit hard by lower energy prices and international economic sanctions against Russia for its takeover of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Read also Union with Russia no remedy for poverty: Kyrgyzstan residents say

The two are also members of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. Full story 

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