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Opinions & Interviews

29 Apr 2015

Lukashenko: Belarus will never pursue frenzied nationalistic policy

Lukashenko: Belarus will never pursue frenzied nationalistic policy

MINSK, 29 April (BelTA) - Belarus will never pursue a frenzied nationalistic policy, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said when delivering the address to the Belarusian people and parliament, BelTA has learned.

"Many in Belarus are intermarried and are interrelated with the Russians, Poles, Jews, and other ethnicities. We never paid any attention to this and never will. We are under-populated. We need to have at least 20 million people. Why will we pursue a frenzied nationalistic policy? To drive away people who were born here or whose parents were born here? This is nonsense of the highest order!” Alexander Lukashenko said.

He noted that recently there has been a lot of talk about the idea of the "Russian world". “With regard to this idea I would like to say the following: Belarus was the first post-Soviet state to assign the Russian language the official language status along with Belarusian. We appreciate the great Russian culture and do not separate it from ours. We are part of this culture. Many Russians have contributed a lot to the Belarusian culture. Belarusians have also contributed to the Russian culture. It is hard to break this all up. Russians in Belarus are full citizens unlike many former Soviet republics. No one is offended or harassed on national or religious grounds in Belarus,” the President said.

Alexander Lukashenko said that he raised this issue because “not only liberals in Russia but even some people in the Russian government got this idea that Belarus is tilting towards the West.” “Throw this idea out of your head, dear Russians. We are your brothers, we have always been together. But let us have our own views and impressions of the world. We do not always publicly express them. We agreed with the President of Russia on the non-publicity of our relations and we strictly adhere to this principle. If Vladimir Vladimirovich has a point or remark, he conveys it to me. We discuss the problems in a friendly manner. Belarus can have its own attitude and its own point of view, including on Ukraine. Is our role and position bad? After all, if I acted in the manner I was recommended after Crimea’s joining Russia, would Minsk become the venue for talks? Never,” he said.

"Belarus is a sovereign independent state. Of course, we have close bonds with the Russian people. We are brothers. But we want to live in our own apartment in a high-rise building. If someone thinks (not only in Russia but also in other places) that we should be denied this, then I can say this will never happen. We are an independent state who does not create problems and never will," the President added.

The head of state noted that Belarus closely coordinates its foreign policy with Russia. "Belarus and Russia have centuries-old history, common values and mentality. Together we defended our homeland from the fascist enslavement and achieved the great victory. We are building together our future, by cooperating and strengthening our sovereign states,” he said.

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