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25 February 2024, 13:40

Lukashenko: Belarus, Russia can create an association that will make them even stronger

MINSK, 25 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia can create an association that will make them even stronger, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the media after he cast his ballot in the parliamentary and local elections on 25 February, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that there are several international associations with different levels of integration in the post-Soviet space. The largest of them is the Commonwealth of Independent States. One of the fundamental aspects of the CIS is a free trade zone. The Eurasian Economic Union is already a more advanced structure.

Belarus and Russia have opted for a deeper integration. “We remain committed to this project and are moving forward consistently,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

At the same time, the president emphasized that Belarus and Russia must remain sovereign and independent states. They can create a unique and powerful association. “It would be wrong to say that ‘Belarusians are on their knees’, ‘Belarus buckles under to Russia and will become part of Russia’. Even you, working in Russia, would never vote for this,” the head of state said addressing a representative of the Russian media.

The head of state emphasized that the unification of the two states will be upheld neither in Russia nor in Belarus. Such a step will only make things worse. “We must proceed step by step, calmly, and evolutionarily address the problems facing us,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.

The president recalled that after the sanctions were imposed, many issues in Belarus-Russia relations disappeared. Belarus stepped up its presence in the market of the neighboring country where its products came in handy. “The world has changed, and we have become more relevant to each other. In other words, if there is a problem, we address it. There is no need to take the ball before the bound,” noted Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“If some people, especially in Russia, and also here in Belarus, think that the Union State implies that we will merge tomorrow, all the power will be in the Kremlin, and so on... Listen, I am an ‘outgoing’ president (I often say this), but I am absolutely sure that the attitude to this matter will not change no matter who will take over as the president. Two sovereign, independent states. We are smart, educated enough to create such an association of sovereign, independent states that will make us stronger. We must proceed calmly and resolve the issues that arise,” the president said.
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