MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) - Belarus does not want bad relations with Ukraine, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Evgeny Shevchenko on 20 April, BelTA has learned.
“We are not going to confront Ukraine head-on in any issues and behave indecently. We will of course have to react somewhere if we cross these forbidden red lines. We however do not want to have bad relations with the country which is more to us than just a southern neighbor (I do not consider Ukraine a foreign country at all. I served in the Border Troops, and our area of responsibility was the Western Border District centered in Kiev. I have had Ukraine in my heart since my youth, not to mention the roots of my ancestors somewhere between Chernigov and Kiev),” said the president.
The president emphasized that people in Belarus treat Ukrainians very well. “Since the conflict in Donbass began, we have welcomed some 150,000 Ukrainians. Some of them returned home later. Many got jobs here, and I signed a decree granting equal rights to Ukrainians in Belarus. This means a big social package, including free education, free healthcare, employment. It is not easy to provide 150,000 people with everything they need. You see how migrants come to the European Union, and they cannot divide 2,000 people in order to accommodate them. We have done everything necessary for 150,000 people. We always act open-heartedly,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.