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President Lukashenko on issues in Belarus-Russia relations

Because of disparities in prices in Belarusian and Russian markets Belarus lost $15 billion, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting with public representatives of Belarusian and foreign mass media. The Head of State commented extensively on the problematic issues in Belarusian-Russian relations. The Head of State commented extensively on the problematic issues in Belarusian-Russian relations.

At the moment, Belarus-Russia relations are not easy. However, the Belarus President said that with time, all contradictions are resolved in one way or another.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
While I am President, not a single stone will be thrown at Russian people, Russians. You should know this clearly. But you must also understand that there are a lot of various forces in Russia. Unfortunately, they are now different in the country's leadership too. And that's too bad that some things differ from the views or decisions of the president himself. I told this to my friend often. These exacerbations don't happen for the first time.

Russia in fact often grabbed the gas pipe when it does not like our behavior. This is a habit. Why taking us by the throat? It is clear that we can do without Russian oil. It will be very difficult.

This is uneconomic, inefficient, but freedom and independence is very profitable and it does not have any money value.

We will still find a way out. That is what Russia, unfortunately, does not understand. They think we are tied to them anyway. We have inter-state agreements. We have not violated a single contract. We agreed to ship 24 million tons of oil a year. They cut it to 18, then to 16 and now they allege they would ship only 12 million. Have we signed papers? This is not normal. It is necessary to finish this. We are not Ukraine, we are not anti-Russian. We are not seeking NATO membership either.

We cherish our sacred agreement on the defense of our space, our homeland - Belarus and Russia.

It is our common heritage. And I would like this conflict at the top not to affect ordinary people. Therefore, I beg you: never offend Russians.

Journalist:
Mr Lukashenko, you really are right to say that Russia and Belarus' dialogue has been reduced to a very narrow format. In fact, the topic of conversation is energy, it's a little bit of security and milk. But what about the institutions created? There is the Belarus-Russia Union State, there is the Eurasian Union. They are not doing their job. Do you think we could use these institutions in a wiser way?

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Do not think that everything depends only on presidents. It's a pity that you do not know life in Belarus, Russian authorities hide it all from you. Do you want to know why?

I quote one big man in Russia, when I asked him why Russia is doing this. He said unwillingly: 'Mr Lukashenko, you are too popular in Russian regions outside Moscow and in Belarus. It is necessary to make you less popular.' It is not right. I do not claim anything Russian. It is not possible under our constitutions, yours and ours. I am not a citizen of Russia. But don't do this please. You will lose.

No Russian will believe that a Belarusian, that Lukashenko is the enemy of Russia, that he is a stranger, that Belarus is now heading towards the West or somewhere else.

Just yesterday it was reported that Russia has introduced checkpoints in some areas on the border with Belarus.

Then some Russian media even reported that Belarus is allegedly withdrawing from some interstate associations with Russia.

President Lukashenko on issues in Belarus-Russia relations