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6 Oct 2015

Lukashenko sees positive dynamics in Belarus-West relations

MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – There is positive dynamics in Belarus’ relations with the West, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at he meeting with residents of Minsk District and workers at the construction site of the new section of the second ring road around Minsk on 6 October, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko said that during his recent visit to New York, the United States of America, he met with other heads of state. The Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs met with a number of high-ranking officials. “These were positive events,” the Belarusian leader said.

“However, some in the East are concerned about the fact that Belarus is changing its foreign policy. We do not turn around our foreign policy. Our state protects its interests here. We do not have interests in Syria or Iran. We do not lay claims to anything there and want others to respect our choice,” the President said.

“You did a very good job. We have withstood the period of sanctions similar to those which Russia is suffering from today. We did not wobble although some people say we did, we did not abandon our traditional course of being a sovereign and independent state,” the Belarusian leader said.

“By global standards Belarus is not a huge country which is trying to determine the fate of the whole world and influence the world order. We know our place. But Belarus is the state which can voice its position, Belarus is the founder of the United Nations Organization,” Alexander Lukashenko stressed. He reminded that Belarus lost one third of its population in the fight against fascism. “We deserve respect,” he said.

“Speaking in the United Nations Organization, the US President cited the example of Cuba as an acknowledgement of the fact that they also learn from their mistakes, they saw that sanctions against Cuba were futile, and they decided to lift those sanctions. The same applies to Belarus. Although Belarus is not a super rich country, it is a respectable county in the center of Europe,” the President continued.

According to him, a kind of jump-start was needed to start the normalization of the relations. "The people who criticize me say with regret that Lukashenko was helped by the crisis in Ukraine. No, this crisis has not helped me. It's a pain for me, as for many Ukrainians, and for those people whose relatives live there. But the Ukrainian crisis has shown how fragile peace is and that if you start doing thoughtless things here in Belarus the country may ‘burst into fire’ as well. And they would not want it. It is in the center of Europe. Suddenly all sobered up. The Ukrainian crisis and the problems that we are going through were, as I understand it, a certain jump-start to meeting Belarus halfway and recognizing the fallacy of sanctions,” said the head of state.

"We are not against it. Please, let's talk. We have our own state, we have our own national interests which we did not trade off even in difficult times, and are not going to,” the Belarusian leader said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that when meeting leaders of other states he expressly say that our country is a good student. "We, as a sovereign, independent state, are a little more than 20 years old. We are willing to learn. But if you are going push us all time, then nothing will come out of this," said the President.

"We will firmly stick to our course. We need to anchor ourselves as a sovereign independent state so that nobody would want to look our ways rubbing their hands thinking that tomorrow they would come and destroy us like Ukraine and divide it into pieces. We are a sovereign independent state. We are building our relations with our neighbors without any ambitions, and no neighbor can say that we create any problems. But we will never give away a piece of our land,” stressed the head of state. He added that on this basis, proceeding from these principles, that he holds talks with the leaders of other states. "And they are quite successful," he stated. The President noted that first thing the talks focus on trade and economic relations.

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