MINSK, 24 December (BelTA) – Russian mass media lack sufficient information about Belarus' stance in negotiations on tighter integration with Russia, BelTA learned from Editor-in-Chief of the radio station Ekho Moskvy [Echo of Moscow] Aleksei Venediktov after the journalist's interview with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 24 December.
The journalist said: “There is definitely hunger for information about Belarus' stance in Moscow. President Lukashenko doesn't talk to Russian mass media a lot. It is something the presidents and Russian mass media should think about. More frequent contacts are needed. After events in Sochi and St Petersburg [negotiations between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin] we didn't see reports with Belarusian points of view at all. We saw a deputy prime minister and the ambassador talking for 10-15 seconds. It was incomprehensible for Russian viewers what the dispute was all about.”
Aleksei Venediktov also pointed out that President of Russia Vladimir Putin talked about his meetings in Sochi and St Petersburg at press conferences and during his meetings with CIS leaders. Meanwhile, the Belarus president has not talked about it and has not made public statements about these matters. “We totally lacked information or opinions from the Belarusian side. Because you need to hear out both sides in order to understand what is really going on,” he stressed.
In his opinion, today's interview with Aleksandr Lukashenko has fixed the situation. During the interview Aleksandr Lukashenko presented his view on further integration in the Union State of Belarus and Russia in detail and sincerely. In particular, it will help change the Russian public's inaccurate perception of Aleksandr Lukashenko as a capricious leader. “This is quite a popular belief not only among the general public but the elite as well. Because when disputes happen, the stance moves all the time and the actions may seem capricious. The Belarus president has presented his views in no-nonsense terms now,” the journalist noted.
Aleksei Venediktov assured that the interview will be aired by radio station Ekho Moskvy in full, without cuts. “It seems to me it is very important for the general public to see the position of the leader without distortions, without editing. There was a pause of four seconds. It is the only cut I can allow out of the two-hour-long interview,” the journalist said.