Russia-Belarus joint anti-missile possible

Russia and Belarus may strike a deal on creating a joint anti-missile shield very soon. A source in the Russian government has said the timeframe of the deal mainly depends on the Belarusian side.

Russia and Belarus have also started merging their science and technology sectors and have given consideration to a draft joint logistic plan for 2009 for the Russian-Belarusian regional armed forces group.

The meeting looked at proposals for essentially new Union State programmes, one of them being a nano-technology programme

Russia is interested in creating a common currency pool with Belarus, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on a visit to Minsk. Moscow would also like to expand the use of the rouble in trade between the countries.

On the agenda of Putin's visit was a customs union to free up trade between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko said he wanted to see closer economic ties between the countries.