Russia should not treat its main ally as enemy – Lukashenka

Russia should not treat Belarusians as enemies who have faced away from Russia, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at Thursday’s meeting with Andrey Nikitin, governor of Russia’s Novgorod region.

“Such things have never happened been such and they will never happen. I cannot say they [West] are embracing us with open arms. It is the economy, not even Lukashenka’s dictatorship, that is the challenge,” he said.

According to Lukashenka, EU member countries have almost all goods that are made in Belarus.

“They produce mechanical engineering goods which are not worse than ours. They manufacture everything but for BelAZ-like haulers. They produce everything else: milk, meat, etc. No one will give us access to the market. I criticize them for this all the time. Our products (they admit it) are much better in many ways than theirs. But they will keep their market closed for us. What is the basis of cooperation with the European Union then?” state-run news agency BelTA quotes him.

At the same time, the head of state admitted having problems in Belarus-Russia, but stressed they were temporary. “We will manage to tackle the issues. At least we speak the same language,” he said.

In his opinion, close cooperation with the regions contributed to preserving the ties between Belarus and Russia.

“We do have problems, but our relations are at adequate level. I believe that together with Dmitry Fyodorovich [Russian envoy Mezentsev], the Foreign Ministry and the Russian government (the presidents got involved too) we will solve these problems. Losing each other is out of the question. Listen, do you really have a closer ally than Belarus? No, you don’t. And we do not have a closer country than Russia either. This is why we should cooperate,” the Belarusian leader added.

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