During negotiations with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, RussianPresident Vladimir Putin confirmed the intention of the Russian party torelease credits to Belarus in 2002. These credits will amount to $40m andRUR1.5bn (about $47.56m), the BELTA news agency reported with a referenceto the press service of the Belarusian President.On August14, three lines of bilateral collaboration were discussed at a topmeeting in the Kremlin: the expansion of trade and economic contacts,outlooks for the creation of the Russian-Belarusian union and interactionon the international scene. As Lukashenko pointed out, the parties came tounderstanding regarding almost all problems they had discussed.Special attention was paid to leveling the conditions for marketparticipants of the two countries. Putin supported Lukashenko's idea thatfirst and foremost, it was important to provide equal rights for Russianand Belarusian producers and citizens of both countries in the near future.The next meeting of Lukashenko and Putin is scheduled for this fall withina summit of country leaders..
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969