MINSK, 17 November (BelTA) – Speaking about documents on promoting integration with Russia, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that if any of such documents is incompatible with the Belarusian Constitution, it will not be signed, BelTA has learned.
“No document will be signed if it goes against the Constitution and fundamental principles of our society. The main principles are independence and sovereignty,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “There is no conspiracy here, the process is transparent. The premier has already voiced our principled position: no roadmaps can be signed unless our primary concerns are addressed (this pertains to supplies of fossil fuels, unobstructed market access for our products, removal of barriers and other things),” the president said.
The head of state emphasized that Belarus is not a scrounger and does not want to be it. He cited an example of the United States of America that launched a trade war with China “over the U.S. trade deficit with China estimated at hundreds of billion dollars”. “Do you know Belarus' trade deficit with Russia? Nearly nine billion dollars every year. Where can I get these nine billion dollars to pay Russia for the goods that we buy? This money should be earned on the Russian market. However, they put up barriers for certain types of our commodities. Is it right? It is not. Of course, we will not fight with Russia like America with China. But this is not right,” the head of state is convinced.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, when countries join some associations, they expect it will boost their economies. “What is happening in Belarus? We face new conditions every year. As a result, our economy incurs more and more losses. Who needs such a union? This is our stance. The Russian president knows about it. We are friends with him. I can say it openly to him, mincing no words. He can do the same,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
If the trade with Russia were more balanced, Belarus could become a richer state, the Belarusian leader believes. “What kind of a union is it if every year we incur losses and face increasingly unfavorable conditions there? This is not okay. Therefore, as far as economy is concerned, we do not claim anything and do not ask for anything. We demand, as we once agreed on, equal terms for economic operators and ordinary people. This is what a union should look like. In this case you will never cast a stone at Russia, and we will also welcome such a union. Do not worry, I am as patriotic as you are,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.