MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – The sovereignty and independence of Belarus are inviolable. At the same time, Belarus will never turn against Russia, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to review Belarus-Russia cooperation in Minsk, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that after some time has passed since the attempted rebellion in Belarus, it has become obvious that the chosen course for closer cooperation with Russia was right and the measures taken, including the approval of a package of the Union State integration documents, were relevant and well-timed. The head of state noted that none of the Union State programs violates the sovereignty and independence of Belarus and Russia.
The head of state gave his take on the talks about the sovereignty and independence of Belarus in view of deepening cooperation with Russia. “I see attempts to stir up the situation. And after these large-scale negotiations [the upcoming talks between the presidents of Belarus and Russia in Minsk on 19 December] everyone will say that it is over: there is no power in Belarus anymore, Russians are already running the country. Once again, I want to emphasize that no one, except us, governs Belarus. These are our functions, including my functions, under the Constitution. We are fulfilling these functions,” the Belarusian leader said.
“When negotiations are not going well, many people here start whispering that Russia is putting forward unacceptable conditions for us related to our independence and sovereignty. I want to say absolutely frankly: despite all the difficulties, if the leadership of the Russian Federation wants to build relations with the sovereign and independent state of Belarus, if Russia perceives us as a sovereign and independent state (a very close and reliable country where everything that has to do with Russia - from the language to Russian traditions - is respected), we are ready to build such relationships. We must always proceed from the fact that we are a sovereign and independent state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The head of state noted that there was time when the Belarusian state was ready to go on as part of the Soviet Union, but, nevertheless, it became an independent country and these sovereignty and independence are unshakable: “We were ready to live, serve, work in one state. Its name was the Soviet Union. Everything happened in front of my eyes. Yet, it was not us who destroyed it. And we know a lot about the reasons and origins of this destruction. We obtained sovereignty and independence quite unexpectedly. We must keep it intact, because the Belarusian people want it.”
At the same time, the president emphasized the importance of maintaining friendly and allied relations with Russia. “We will never be enemies of Russia. And we will never turn against Russia. This country and its people are closest to us. I think that we will stick to this course as long as we are in power. Had it been otherwise, we would have ended up like in Ukraine. Everyone understands this, but not everyone can voice it. Those who fled need to provide for themselves somehow. Someone gave them money, told them what to say, and they said it. Therefore, sovereignty and independence are inviolable. And any talks here or there [abroad] questioning it mean a betrayal of the interests of the Belarusian people,” the head of state said.
“Yes, we stand with Russia as a sovereign and independent state. I say this calmly, as I know the position of the president of Russia. We are not even discussing this issue now. We agreed once and for all on how we will act after signing these 28 programs. None of the programs violates our sovereignty and independence,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.