It is necessary to have a fresh look at cooperation prospects and build up ties with Belarus, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during a meeting with Governor of Russia's Novgorod Oblast Andrei Nikitin in Minsk.
“It is important to keep in mind that in such cases we, in fact, act as if this is the territory of one state. Russia treats our citizens the same way we treat Russians in Belarus. There are no other options but to protect the interests of Russia and Russian citizens. And they are spinning the story about somebody's detention in Belarus and so on,” the Belarusian leader remarked.
"We should not be seen as enemies who have turned their backs on Russia," the president said. "We have never been such and never will be. We are not welcome there [in Western Europe]. The obstacle is not even Lukashenko's dictatorship, but the economy,” he said.
Celebratory atmosphere has always reigned at polling stations in Belarus. We should arrange this process as if it were a holiday, but keep in mind that these are elections, that we are choosing parliament members, the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “You will not have to command frontlines, you will have to ensure order in the country. If necessary, you will have to use the internal troops. It is your prerogative. It is and will be what makes you different – you will have to ensure order inside the country.”
At present Andrei Popov works as a senior advisor to the Department for Asia, Australia and Oceania of the Directorate-General for Asia, Africa and Latin America of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“I am convinced that you will manage to preserve and multiply the achievements of the Cuban state, become a guarantor of protection of people's interests, that you will do your best to assert Cuba's right for independent development,” the message of greetings reads.