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Oct 10, 2014

Ex-Soviet states bicker as Putin tries to unite them

MINSK (Reuters) – Vulgar chants about Vladimir Putin before he arrived for a regional summit in Belarus did not augur well for the Russian president’s hopes of bringing the leaders of former Soviet republics closer together.

Matters got even worse when bickering broke out at the start of the meeting, revealing fault lines over the Ukraine crisis and deepening doubts about the future of the loose grouping known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Sep 6, 2014

Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels reach ceasefire deal

MINSK (Reuters) – Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels reached a ceasefire agreement on Friday, the first step toward ending fighting in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended.

The ceasefire deal was struck in the Belarussian capital Minsk along with a deal allowing for prisoner exchanges, deliveries of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of heavy weapons after five months of a conflict that has killed more than 2,600 people.

Sep 5, 2014

Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels agree ceasefire

MINSK, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels
agreed a ceasefire on Friday, the first step towards ending a
conflict in eastern Ukraine that has caused the worst standoff
between Moscow and the West since the Cold War ended.

The deal, taking effect from 1500 GMT, was agreed at peace
talks with representatives of Russia and the OSCE security and
rights group in the Belarussian capital Minsk.

Aug 26, 2014

Putin and Poroshenko extend ‘difficult’ Ukraine talks one-on-one

MINSK, Aug 26 (Reuters) – The leaders of Russia and Ukraine
agreed on Tuesday on the need to “de-escalate” the conflict in
eastern Ukraine but fundamental differences remain, the
Belarussian president who hosted the talks said.

After about six hours of negotiations with their Belarussian
and Kazakhstan counterparts and top European Union officials,
presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Petro Poroshenko of
Ukraine began a one-on-one meeting, officials on both sides

Aug 26, 2014

Russian soldiers’ capture clouds Putin-Poroshenko talks

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine released a video of captured Russian soldiers on Tuesday, sharply escalating a dispute over Moscow’s alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic.

The footage was released only hours before the two countries’ presidents were due to meet for the first time since June to discuss the conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people and provoked Western sanctions against Russia.

Aug 26, 2014

Dispute over captured Russian soldiers before Putin-Poroshenko talks

MINSK/KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine released video footage on Tuesday of what it said were Russian soldiers captured on its territory, only hours before the presidents of the two countries were due to meet for the first time in months.

In Moscow, a military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident.

Aug 12, 2014

Russia, Belarus hold talks over re-export of banned Western food

MINSK/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Moscow dispatched top veterinary officials to Belarus on Tuesday after the neighboring country, which has a free trade zone with Russia, said it would not become a back-door conduit for banned Western food products.

Last week Russia banned imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, scallops, milk and dairy from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway in retaliation for Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

May 9, 2014

Belarus won’t block creation of Eurasian Economic Union

MINSK, May 9 (Reuters) – President Alexander Lukashenko said
on Friday Belarus would not block the signing of a deal creating
a Eurasian Economic Union after resolving a dispute with Russia
over oil product duties.

The economic union is intended to be a precursor to a future
Eurasian Union sought by Russian President Vladimir Putin to
unite at least some of the old Soviet Union as a bulwark against
perceived Western encroachment into Moscow’s traditional sphere
of influence.

Mar 12, 2014

Belarus says Russia to send warplanes in response to NATO drills

MINSK (Reuters) – Russia will send several warplanes to its military ally Belarus in response to increased NATO activity near the borders of the ex-Soviet republic, the commander of the Belarussian air force was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

President Alexander Lukashenko had said earlier that Belarus would ask Russia to deploy 12 to 15 warplanes on its territory after the United States and Poland began war games that are expected to involve at least 12 U.S. F-16 fighter jets.

Nov 21, 2013

Belarus extradites Uralkali CEO to Russia

MINSK/MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarus extradited the chief executive of potash producer Uralkali to Russia on Thursday, state media in both nations said, paving the way for the neighbours to settle a row over one of Belarus’s main sources of foreign income.

Vladislav Baumgertner was detained in Minsk in August after Uralkali quit a cartel with its state-run partner in ex-Soviet Belarus, triggering a price fall that infuriated Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Russia’s closest ally.