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Russia and Belarus agree closer energy, economic integration

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Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The leaders of Russia and Belarus on Thursday agreed to set up a unified oil and gas market and to deepen economic integration in the face of what they regard as unjustified Western sanctions on both their economies. The agreement, reached after Kremlin talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, is likely to be seen as the latest show of support by Putin for Lukashenko who last year used force to break up huge protests against his rule. The West has hit Belarus with sanctions to punish the authorities for the crackdown. Russia …

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