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21 Jan 2014

Lukashenko: Belarus has resumed dialogue with the West

MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – Belarus and the West have engaged in a dialogue, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with representatives of Belarus’ biggest mass media outlets on 21 January, BelTA has learnt.

“We have not made it public recently. Those are not just symptoms. We conducted a number of events, though these events were not public. Many Europeans who come here often ask us to keep things private. I speak with them frankly if they want to meet with me. I never refuse to receive them; I speak with everyone – from US congressmen to ordinary politicians and even former politicians from Europe. Of course, they have influence in their countries. We have held many meetings like that; we have established a kind of dialogue. Although we do not sit at the common table and discuss problems (we will do it eventually, though), there is some dialogue and it is good,” the Belarusian head of state said.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, these intermediaries communicate Belarus’ position to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other politicians.

At the same time Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus’ independence should not be conditioned upon alienation from Russia. “We want to live on our land and be sovereign. I do not want anyone to put the squeeze on my people anymore. My priority task as the first President is not to let it happen,” the head of state said.

“Our independence is sacred. However, it should be understandable for our neighbors. It should not be aggressive. We are not this kind of country and we do not have the power to be aggressive towards the West or the East,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The head of state emphasized that he will never use friendship with the West against Russia. The same way Belarus-Russia cooperation should not be detrimental to Belarus’ relations with western countries.

“For some time recently we have not been criticizing or pressurizing each other. We have started to talk. Lithuania has realized that a third of their budget is generated by Belarus. The same thing with Latvia,” the Belarusian leader added.

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