President Lukashenko begins 3-day visit to India

NEW DELHI, April 15 (Itar-Tass) - Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko will arrive for a three-day official visit in India on Sunday. The sides are expected to sign an extradition agreement and other bilateral documents designed to develop cooperation.

Lukashenko will meet Indian President Abdul Kalam and Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The official spokesperson for the Indian Foreign Ministry told reporters the delegations were expected to sign a bilateral protocol on Belarus' accession to the WTO, agreements for cooperation in science, technology and agriculture.

Alexander Lukashenko visited India in 1997. India was among the first countries to recognize a new Belarusian state after the Soviet Union had collapsed.

India and Belarus will mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Belarus opened an embassy in New Delhi in 1998.

Trade and economic relations between the two countries are gaining momentum. The Indian-Belarussian trade turnover increased from $62 million in 2003 to 244 million in the last two years.