Belarus leader gives Putin a tractor voucher on 70th birthday

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Belarus Leader Gives Putin A Tractor Voucher On 70Th Birthday Belarus Leader Gives Putin A Tractor Voucher On 70Th Birthday
Russia Putin, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Associated Press Reporter

Vladimir Putin got an unusual gift for his 70th birthday on Friday – a voucher for a tractor from the president of Belarus.

As the leaders of several ex-Soviet nations met at the Tsarist-era Konstantin Palace in St Petersburg, Alexander Lukashenko presented the Russian president with a certificate for the vehicle.

Tractors have been the pride of Belarusian industry since Soviet times.

Mr Lukashenko, an autocratic leader who has ruled the ex-Soviet nation with an iron hand for nearly three decades while cultivating a man-of-the-people image, told reporters he has a model in his garden which is similar to the tractor that he gave Mr Putin.


Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin pose for a photo (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

It was not clear how the Russian leader responded to the gift, which Mr Lukashenko’s office revealed.

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Mr Putin did not mention the gift in televised remarks at the start of the meeting when he talked about the need to discuss ways of settling conflicts between ex-Soviet nations.

He also emphasised the need to exchange information to fight terrorism, illegal drugs and other crime.

The leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of ex-Soviet nations, have another gathering to attend next week in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana.

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