MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) – Crimea became Russian de jure and de facto after the referendum. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement in an interview with Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of the Russian state news agency MIA Rossiya Segodnya, BelTA has learned.
The head of state also said during the interview that he intends to visit Crimea and the relevant agreement had been reached with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Aleksandr Lukashenko said he would like to start the trip by visiting Sevastopol. No exact date for the trip has been determined yet. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that his arrival in Crimea will signify the recognition of the peninsula as part of Russia, however, as a matter of principle this issue does not exist between him and Vladimir Putin.
“Crimea de facto is Russian. After the referendum Crimea became Russian de jure, too,” the Belarusian leader stated.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed he has every right to visit Crimea under whoever's protectorate, management, or ownership. “It is my Crimea, too,” the head of state said. He noted his first trip to the seaside was the trip to Crimea back when he had only one elder son.
The president continued: “The president [Vladimir Putin] suggested we should go some time…” “Escape,” Dmitry Kiselyov continued the line of thought.
“This is what was said. When we were on a boat with him in the Black Sea, the conversation touched upon this matter. I said he could show me Crimea. He said no problem. Only on board an aircraft, not this boat,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Putin told me a lot about the current Air Force base in Sevastopol. An Aerospace Forces base. A great deal,” the Belarusian leader noted. “I told him we will fly when he invites me to. And I suggested the second condition to him then: we should land in Sevastopol.”
“If the president [of Belarus] and the president of Russia come there, listen, what other recognition do you need? It is not a secret for me or for Putin. Moreover, it is an issue that does not exist. There is no issue about that between me and Putin,” the head of state stressed.