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Opinions & Interviews

24 Jan 2019

Lukashenko: By supporting Belarus, Russia primarily supports itself

Lukashenko: By supporting Belarus, Russia primarily supports itself

MINSK, 24 January (BelTA) – By supporting Belarus, Russia supports itself and its manufacturing facilities in the first place, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia’s Novosibirsk Oblast Andrei Travnikov on 24 January, BelTA has learned.
The head of state said that sometimes they say that Russia widely supports or even feeds Belarus. He recalled, however, that since the Soviet Union times, Belarus has played the role of an assembly plant by purchasing raw materials and component parts from Russia. “By supporting Belarus, Russia primarily supports itself. Having defined Belarus’ course of development more than 20 years ago, we unequivocally decided that Russia is not just a partner or a friendly state for us,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“We purchase the bulk of raw materials and component parts from Russia,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko stated that Belarus is not only about a well-known tractor brand but also well-developed petrochemical, oil refining and machine-building industries. “This is the finishing manufacturing site for Russia’s huge economy. If Russia supports Belarus, it supports its producers of raw materials and component parts,” the president said.
He cited MTZ as an example. Its products consist of almost 60% of Russian component parts. Another example is BelAZ that was set up to meet the needs of Russia and the Soviet Union market.
“If we calculate, we will see who supports whom,” the Belarusian leader added.
Alexander Lukashenko also took note of the recent statements that Russia has taken a pragmatic position and that the brotherhood and friendship rhetoric gives way to purely partner relations. “We can be simply partners. I am not against it. We are ready for cooperation with our brotherly Russia to the extent Russia is ready for today. We are against fake news. Not long ago I had to respond to the recent allegations that Russians are treated badly in Minsk,” the head of state said.
He explained that when they looked into the situation, it turned out that there was a conflict between two Belarusians. “This incident, however, was spun by the Russian mass media outlets and interpreted in the wrong way. That person was not a Russian citizen at all. This means that there is a demand for such topics today. Your arrival shows, however, that common sense will always prevail, and it will not be possible to pit Russians against Belarusians. They will never succeed in it, at least as long as I am President,” the Belarusian leader said.

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