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19 December 2022, 21:37

Putin: Russia has no interest in absorbing anyone

MINSK, 19 December (BelTA) – Russia has no interest in absorbing anyone, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters after the talks with Belarusian head of state Aleksandr Lukashenko in Minsk on 19 December, BelTA has learned.

"Russia has no interest in absorbing anyone. There is simply no expediency in this," the Russian leader stressed.

Vladimir Putin gave an example that during the talks in Minsk, the parties spoke about the sensitive issue of pricing in the energy sector. "Aleksandr Grigoryevich is absolutely right by saying that today's meeting was very constructive and very substantive," he said.

The Russian president stressed that the matter is absolutely not about the absorption, as some try to present. "The point is how to make these pricing issues fair as the Belarusian president was right to say. You don't have to be a big expert to understand what the problem is. The problem is that we have different levels of subsidies. We have different approaches to subsidizing individual participants in economic activity. The level is different, the approaches are different. So it's important for us to dive deeper and to agree on these general principles. This is what the work in the field of customs regulation, tax regulation is about," the Russian leader said. "Unscrupulous critics from the outside either don't understand what they're talking about or specifically mislead people who don't know profound knowledge about these matters."

“It is not about absorbing anyone. It is about aligning the economic policies. This is the way it is done in many other integration associations. Everything else is nonsense. These are just the attempts of the ill-wishers to slow down our integration. They are doing it only to make sure efficient competitors, that might be dangerous for them, do not emerge in the international market. That's all,” Vladimir Putin said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko concurred with what the Russian president said, and added: “These theses [about absorbing] are coming from abroad, from Belarusian self-exiled opposition. Several thousands of them have fled there, and they need to earn money (you cannot get money for doing nothing). They do not even write these theses. These theses are fed to them,” he said.

The Belarusian head of state added that these statements about absorbing were made ahead of Vladimir Putin's visit to Minsk.

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