MINSK, 19 January (BelTA) – Attempts to stifle Belarus and Russia have failed, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov on 19 January, BelTA has learned.
“One more year is over. We are well informed about the results of this year for Russia. We have approximately the same results. It is very good that we have reached a balance in our trade and economic relations with the Russian Federation. We even have a slight trade surplus. This suggests that the attempts to strangle us, Russia and Belarus, have actually failed. We will definitely stand our ground,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that over the difficult year 2022, the parties mapped out the way to go in order to preserve their sovereignty at all levels. “We are making good progress in import substitution. President Putin and I start almost all meetings with this matter. The economy is at the heart of everything. If our economy is doing fine, we will be able to resolve all other issues,” the head of state is sure.
Commenting on the relations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the president emphasized that he had always called them exemplary. “If all our ministries cooperated in the same way as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, we would not have any problems at all. And there would be no problematic issues altogether. I have always said this. Not only today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He noted that there are issues that need to be discussed at the meeting with Sergey Lavrov, and they go beyond the purview of the collegiums of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Russia. “There are questions that we must discuss with you. You know my attitude towards you. I never hide anything from you. This is very important. Well, we also need to consult on some matters. Therefore, I suggest focusing on some key issues, and then we will have a one-on-one meeting to discuss other matters. This is not because we are hiding something from Sergei [Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Sergei Aleinik]. Absolutely not. But there are questions that are beyond the scope of our today's official events,” said the head of state.