Russian President Vladimir Putin had a meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev.
“We are meeting today on the eve of Victory Day – a very special holiday for all of us. In the years of the Great Patriotic War, our fathers and grandfathers together routed Nazism – an evil and merciless foe. They defended their homeland, maintained its sovereignty and independence and freed Europe from slavery and violence,” Vladimir Putin said at the meeting.
“We paid dearly for the victory of May 1945, and we will always cherish the memory of those who gave their lives for their country’s freedom, we will cherish their heroism, unity and solidarity in the struggle against a common enemy. All this remains a powerful factor uniting all the peoples of the former USSR,” he said.
“We are all concerned about the developments in Ukraine. As you may know, yesterday I had productive talks with President of the Swiss Confederation and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter. We intend to act within the framework of these agreements and we have established specific measures to activate OSCE’s efforts to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. Primarily this needs to be done through establishing a direct and equal dialogue between the current authorities in Kiev and representatives of the southeastern regions of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said.