MINSK, 29 June (BelTA) – If Belarus makes a single wrong move, it will be buried under the rubble of international conflicts, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Minsk Oblast officials and top executives in Soligorsk. An excerpt of his speech was broadcast by the Belarus 1 TV Channel, BelTA reports.
“If we take at least one incautious step, we will collapse under the rubble of disagreements, conflicts and empires,” the president noted.
The head of state recalled the feuds between the United States of America and China, conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Simultaneously with that, Great Britain left the European Union, the president noted.
“The European Union has done many bad things to us: they imposed sanctions, built a fence on the eastern border in Poland, they did not want to talk to us. That was not because we were pursuing the wrong policy, but because Belarus did not fall under their sway. We did not want it. The time went by and they realized their mistake; they got the reason (including the war in Ukraine and the Normandy format in Minsk) to mend relations with us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In his words, Belarus started building relations with the EU without coming under its sway. “We suggested meaningful cooperation, they accepted it. At last we came to America's notice. It turned out that Belarus was also important for them. The arrival of many U.S. officials, including the U.S. Secretary of State made our eastern neighbor very nervous. However, we are a sovereign and independent state and we have the right to pursue our own domestic and foreign policy. I proceeded from that being fully aware that I am squeezed, together with you, between the hammer and the anvil: Russia from one side and the European Union from the other side, and there is a boiling pot from the south, which is Ukraine,” the head of state said.
In his words, the relations between Germany and France on the one hand and the Visegrad Group countries (Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia) on the other hand got heated. “The new members of the European Union demanded respect for themselves. What is in the east? Russia got involved in all the wars and conflicts. In addition to that, they are facing very serious domestic issues related to the sharp drop in prices for fossil fuels and a political pandemic - re-setting the count on Putin's term limits by the new Constitution.
Aleksandr Lukashenko called Belarus the only ally of Russia. The president noted that Russia is being ousted from very good markets of Europe and Ukraine, and in this condition Russia cannot afford losing Belarus. “Will they fight against us? We are second only to Germany in purchasing Russian gas; we are refining a great amount of their oil. Naturally, they do not want to lose Belarus economically. However, political considerations are even more important for them. Losing Belarus will deliver a serious blow on Russia's domestic policy,” he noted.
The president added: the number one question now is not who will become Belarus' next president (though this matter is also very important), but how international conflicts will affect the country in the future. “Previously Russia could maneuver in the west (Ukraine, Baltic states), but it can no longer do it: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia view Russia as a bitter enemy; they are part of NATO. So is Poland. It is even worse in Ukraine: the war is going on there. Only one window is left for Russia to cooperate with Europe [Belarus], and also China,” the head of state said.
On the one hand, such a situation opens up new opportunities for Belarus, on the other hand – it puts it under pressure of various geopolitical players, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “The European Union is tearing us apart; Americans paid attention to us; and Russia is very scared of losing this ally. I understand Russia's authorities, but I keep telling them: you should be good to Belarus if you want it to be with you. When things get heated, we tell them: we will survive, but who will stay with you?” the president said.