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Opinions & Interviews

23 Mar 2014

Lukashenko: Ukraine should be persuaded to stay in the CIS

MINSK, 23 March (BelTA) – Ukrainian politicians should be persuaded not to make a hasty and misguided decision to withdraw from the CIS, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters on 23 March, BelTA has learnt.

Alexander Lukashenko expressed hope that those who have influence on Ukraine and Ukrainian politicians will be able to prevent the country from the ill-considered withdrawal from the CIS. More than that, the Belarusian President does not see any reasonable explanation for this decision: “Why would they do it? Is the CIS so binding for Ukraine”, Alexander Lukashenko asked.

“Why to hurry? If you do not want to attend the summit in Moscow, for example, (if you think Moscow is your enemy), do not go there, but let your ambassador represent you instead. If you do not want to go to Minsk (if you hate Minsk), do not go to this summit,” Alexander Lukashenko continued.

The Belarusian President compared Ukraine’s possible decision to withdraw from the CIS with the recent decision to ban the Russian language in Ukraine. “I think this decision by Ukraine’s policy makers would be misguided, irrational and unreasonable. Why not use this platform to voice your position and get your message through to other states,” the President asked. He is convinced that this is a very misguided, hasty and ostentatious move by Ukrainian politicians.

Alexander Lukashenko assured that he would certainly share his views with Ukrainian politicians personally. “I invited Ukrainian politicians to discuss this issue. I hope that we will meet in the near future,” the Belarusian President said.

According to him, Ukraine’s withdrawal from the CIS will be painful, but it will not deliver a deadly blow to the CIS, because the CIS is not living up to many expectations, unfortunately. “If Ukraine withdraws from the CIS, let it be. The remaining countries will keep cooperating somehow,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

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