MINSK, 21 July (BelTA) – Not a single Russian soldier comes to Belarus without an invitation or permission from the country's leadership. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in an interview with the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), BelTA has learned.
The interviewer asked Aleksandr Lukashenko about the presence of Russian troops in Belarus and whether their presence allows the country to pursue a sovereign and independent policy.
Aleksandr Lukashenko responded by saying: “There are plenty of foreign military personnel in Europe, including in France. You shouldn't even ask me this question. You have dozens of thousands of them.”
The head of state pointed out that the presence of Russian military personnel in Belarus is nothing extraordinary: “They have always been here as many as we needed. Including as many as I needed because I invited them. Not a single Russian military specialist has come here without my invitation or permission. This is why all of them are staying here with my consent. It is a function of the president. Not a single military person (a spy, a counterintelligence agent and the rest) can be here without my knowledge.”
“What sovereignty and independence do they violate if I asked them to help with something?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked a rhetorical question.