10:26 Jun. 5, 2016
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.
The two are also members of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. Full story