VLADIVOSTOK, 13 April (BelTA) - Others will learn from Belarus and Russia how to overcome sanctions, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Governor of Russia's Primorsky Krai Oleg Kozhemyako in Vladivostok on 13 April, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that some said that Belarus would be incorporated into Russia. “I say: Putin and I are smart enough not to act in the old way. We will build such a unity of the two independent states that they will learn from us. They will learn from us how to overcome sanctions, and so on,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko is confident that the period of sanctions is a time of opportunity. “Maybe I don't fully understand this period. Maybe our opinions do not coincide (we have different economies, after all). But I am glad that these sanctions were imposed on us. We finally have begun to cooperate with Russia the way we should have been cooperating a long time ago.”
In his words, any restrictions on cooperation between the two countries are an anachronism and there should not be such things in bilateral relations. “I understand that Russia is huge. Everybody wants to work here. Not everyone have nasty intentions. I understand that both the president and the government had a hard time ensuring some balance. Turkey is asking the market to sell tomatoes. Others are asking for something else. China is nearby, which is important for you. Japan, Korea, others,” the Belarusian president said.
“Well, they have made their choice [those who imposed sanctions and suspended cooperation with partners in Russia and Belarus]. Believe me, this is to our and your benefit. Why is it good for us? The Russian ruble does not bother us. I have reiterated many times that we should switch to Russian rubles in payments. We don't need dollars and euros. It was impossible to break through this wall. Today we pay for energy and other things in Russian rubles. We are happy with that,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
He added however that mutual payments have become a little complicated. “We will solve this problem. We have already started solving it. No one will be able to bring us to our knees. This is a great territory that has everything,” said the Belarusian leader. “There are all the resources, raw materials, high technology. We just need to readjust a little and move away from this crazy market. Not everything depends on the market. People also need to participate in the regulation of certain processes.”