MINSK, 21 July (BelTA) – The European Union is heavily dependent on Russian energy resources. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement in an interview with the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that amid the sanctions introduced by the European Union against Russia the dependence of EU countries on Russian energy resources became obvious. He noted: “You are a well-established democracy, a well-established country, a country that has not been divided but has existed within these borders for a long time… But we saw how you are dependent… Why do you have such violent inflation? Why do you cry all the time that you lack natural gas, oil, and so on?”
In such a situation rebukes saying Belarus is somehow dependent on Russian funding or supplies of energy resources look inappropriate, the president believes. “We are a young state. We were part of one country not so long ago. And our economic system evolved back then. The collapse the Soviet Union left the economy unchanged. We developed it and perfected it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko explained.
He reminded that the Russian market has always been and remains a high priority for Belarus. “Truth be told, we had a [foreign trade] balance between the European Union and Russia in the last few years,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
As for energy resources, buying them from Russia is economically justifiable. “We've always received natural gas and oil from them. There were no other sources. We tried other sources but they turned out to be very expensive, twice as expensive,” he stated. The president stressed that considerable financial resources are needed to implement radical changes in the Belarusian economy: “We need lots of billions of euros in order to remodel the entire economy. I didn't have this money, don't have it and will never have it. And do I need it at all? We have a good economy.” In his words, the economy's structure is similar to that of the German economy where mechanical engineering and processing industries are well developed.