Belarus Sends Aid After Reproach

Belarussian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky said Thursday that his country had sent humanitarian aid to victims of fighting in South Ossetia and was ready to host several thousand children over the next two months.

"We in the government have taken measures," Sidorsky told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow. "Today we've sent vehicles with humanitarian cargo."

Belarus offered its sympathy and assistance in Moscow's conflict with Georgia after Russian authorities earlier this week reproached Minsk for offering what they called "modest silence." The West has condemned Russia for the fighting over Georgia's breakaway republic.

Putin, who met Sidorsky to discuss a "union state," said economic ties were developing well and that an intergovernmental commission would meet in late September or early October.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who was scheduled to go on a working vacation to Sochi on Thursday, is to meet Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday, Putin said.