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03 February 2017, 12:10

Lukashenko: Belarus can do without Russian oil, although it will not be easy

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Belarus can do without Russian oil, although it will not be easy, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the meeting with the members of the public, representatives of the Belarusian and foreign mass media on 3 February, BelTA has learned.

“We can do without Russian oil. It is going to be difficult. But freedom and independence are not measured by money,” the Belarusian head of state said. The President stressed: “Independence on one side and Russian, Iranian, Azerbaijani or U.S. oil on the other are irreconcilable notions.”

“Independence, integrity, our historical past are worth much more than oil,” the Belarusian leader added.

Belarus will find a way out, Alexander Lukashenko stressed. “Unfortunately, Russia does not understand it,” he added.

The President called the possible reasons for the current stats of relations between Belarus and Russia. “Russia seems to be concerned that Belarus might pivot to the West,” the Belarusian leader said. Some Russian mass media criticize Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei and hold him responsible for this pivot. “Makei can hold no talks with Brussels, Berlin or Washington without the President's consent. Russia should understand that this is a coordinated position which was once suggested by my friend President Vladimir Putin,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that, when Belarus was under sanctions, Vladimir Putin advised him to improve relations with the western countries. Now, with sanctions lifted, the relations have been actively developing, but this does not damage the cooperation with Russia.

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