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Opinions & Interviews

21 Apr 2017

Lukashenko in favor of Belarus-West relations without prejudices, mistrust

Lukashenko in favor of Belarus-West relations without prejudices, mistrust

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – The establishment of proper relations between Belarus and the European Union and the USA continues. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement in his address to the nation and the parliament on 21 April, BelTA has learned.

The head of state said: “The effort represents a key to investments, modern technologies, resources, and large markets. The nascent dialogue serves not only mutually beneficial economic interests. It is meant to support political stability in the European region. Belarus has been and will remain a reliable partner in fighting the main transboundary threats. A lot can be accomplished in this field if we get rid of the habit of eyeing each other with prejudice and mistrust. If double standards are no longer in use. If we are no longer lectured and saddled with preliminary conditions. All these factors are not acceptable for us just like for any other country.”

In his words, Belarusian-American relations have been virtually on the backburner for many years. “We have to make up for it. However, the fact that we speak to each other and listen is what’s important today,” noted the president.

“As far as the European Union is concerned, it is vital for us this year to make substantial headway in enabling full-value cooperation with the European Union across the board. We appreciate their lifting restrictions from Belarus. Various bilateral instruments of the political dialogue are developing,” said the Belarusian leader.

Belarus has also always maintained an active stance in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). “This is why we are particularly proud of the fact that we’ve been entrusted with hosting a session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. It is important that hundreds of European parliamentarians will come here. They will see with their own eyes how modern Belarus lives and grows, what Belarusian people are concerned about. We have nothing to hide. We will open doors to everyone willing to come here and see our country,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

Addressing representatives of the European Union, Alexander Lukashenko once again asked them to abandon old principles in relations with Belarus. “Stop spurring us! You claim that some excessive force was used in Belarus. We can see that same things happen in the European Union, too. Did we use water cannons or tear gas or something else against street protesters? We didn’t! But you did and at the same time! And now the countries that poison street protestors with tear gas are starting to rebuke us for using some force. A strange approach indeed,” said the president.

The head of state said that there are substantial shortcomings in some Western countries as far as public security is concerned. “Is it a good thing that street protesters are allowed to destroy things? And they do so in civilized and prosperous countries. If these things go too far, the forces you are afraid of — we don’t welcome them here either — will take power away from you. Then you will understand what you’ve lost,” stressed the Belarusian leader.

As an example Alexander Lukashenko mentioned the situation concerning the punishment for the terrorist attack committed by Norwegian Anders Breivik. “He is complaining about his residential accommodations. His computer in his three-room apartment is not the kind he wanted… We don’t get it. Are you trying to make us treat mass murderers like that?” Alexander Lukashenko was indignant.

“You are going to see the error of your ways soon. Let’s resolve these problems together. Where is your so-called democracy and tolerance? You spout slogans in defense of human rights all the time. But how do you treat migrants and kids, who drown in the Mediterranean Sea? You were the ones, who stirred up trouble across the entire Middle East. Why don’t you take responsibility for it?” noted the president. “You should be ashamed for blaming Belarus in this situation. You asked me to open doors for Ukrainians, who had nowhere to go (160,000 people). While Poland couldn’t welcome mere 5,000 refugees, we welcomed more than 160,000. We do everything for the sake of peace.”

The president stated that there are also problems in trade and economic relations. “Give us an acceptable loan to buy equipment. You will get the money back anyway. But no, we can only get expensive loans… Everything’s closed. It is impossible to properly sell textiles or other commodity groups,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “What if I decide to close borders for you? What roads will you take then? We don’t do such things and would like you to understand us.”

Alexander Lukashenko called for trouble-free cooperation and said the Belarusian side was ready for it. “But don’t push us all the time in the back,” he said. “Tell us what you want. We will tell you what we are capable of today.”

“If you want to argue about democracy with me, let’s arrange a public discussion in your media. I will be alone against all of you. And I will prove my point to your nations and they will make certain conclusions whether Lukashenko is right or not. We will survive. Don’t worry. Truth will always win. But you could really use what you can get here, in this corner of Earth. This is why, Europeans, come to your senses and let’s work together on stabilizing the situation in Europe. We can offer a lot to you and you will benefit from taking part in many processes,” concluded the Belarusian leader.

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