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16 February 2023, 16:11

Belarus advised caution at a time of geopolitical turbulence

MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) - Belarus needs to tiptoe its way while major powers are redrawing the world order. Therefore, the country is consistently developing relations with various countries, including with Russia, China, Iran, India, and other far-away countries, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he spoke to foreign and Belarusian journalists in Minsk on 16 February, BelTA has learned.

Negotiations and meetings in Russia are scheduled for tomorrow, the head of state informed. "Then it is China. President Xi Jinping invited me in early March. Then we are negotiating with Iran. Things are set to go ahead with India," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He stressed that diversification is extremely important for Belarus to maintain its independence.

Belarus has to export half of what it produces and thus the country earns foreign currency. Visits at the highest level make it possible to open new markets for Belarusian exports, to intensify work on this front. For example, the president's recent visit to Zimbabwe resulted in $200 million worth of contracts.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus has long been working on diversification and consistently pursues this policy. At the same time, the Russian market remains the main one for Belarus.

Now the whole world is going through a difficult process of transformation, and it is important that Belarus maintains its positions and strengthens them. "Belarus, just like Austria and other countries, needs to carefully pass this way. The world will be different. It will be redrawn, reformatted. I don't even know what will be of the EU. I think that Europe will regain its senses and come to an agreement with Russia. This will be a solution for both the giant Germany, and also for Austria, a relatively small country like us, but a very important, high-tech country. We will be able to reach an agreement," the Belarusian leader said.

"But what the balance will be like in the future is still unclear (or It is still unclear where we will end up/where the current developments will take us/what the future holds for us?). There are a lot of underwater currents," he continued. “We don't yet know where the next conflict might break out. Who guarantees today that the policy the United States is pursuing now will not pit it against China? This will be a disaster. China is not Russia, or the United States or Ukraine combined. No country was able to rein in China. Neither will be the USA.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the development of cooperation between Belarus and China caused discontent in the United States, and at one time this topic, among others, was raised during the visits of John Bolton and Michael Pompeo to Minsk. "They were very unhappy with us maintaining relations with China. I told them openly: ‘You do not set me against China. Because when you started sanctioning us, China opened its doors to us.' I have to say that Michael Pompeo is a decent man. So is Bolton. They said, ‘Ok, we get it'. The matter was closed."

"Very decent people, both of them," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Absolutely pro-American, protecting their own interests."

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