"Uzbekistan's step toward joining EurAsEC says a lot - primarily that the organization must by no means be discarded," Lukashenko said at a meeting with EurAsEC Secretary General Grigory Rapota.
He said the five-member alliance, which, along with Belarus, includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, has the potential to develop into a powerful organization.
"Some think EurAsEC doesn't exist. We must prove them wrong, [prove that on the contrary,] this is a viable organization and that it has a future. We must create an economically strong organization, [with] an effectively working single customs area, in order to prove to everyone in doubt that the Eurasian Economic Community can get a lot of problems solved," Lukashenko said.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.