MINSK, 11 February (BelTA) – Relations with the European Union are important for Belarus, but Russia remains our main strategic ally, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he addressed the 6th Belarusian People's Congress in Minsk on 11 February, BelTA has learned.
The president stressed that Belarusians are not freeloaders. Nor is Belarus a satellite country begging for subsidies and loans in exchange for abandoning its own opinion and sound reasoning.
"Relations with the European Union are important for us too. We have the longest border the EU. The degree of interdependence in the economic, social, cultural and, finally, political fields is quite high. No less significant for our diplomacy are the countries of the so-called distant arc, with China, a close and friendly country to us despite being distant geographically, plays an important role. At the same time, our Russia will continue to be our main economic partner and strategic ally," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted that he sees no good reason to abandon such multi-vector policy. "This is an objective reality for any sensible politician who will ever lead Belarus," he added.
The president also drew attention to the importance of Belarusian-Russian relations in this multi-vector system. “The assistance of the Russian Federation was of the utmost importance to us. This position of Russia is not the assistance to the current government but is the support of the brotherly state and the Belarusian people in the context of current and future global transformations," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “As long as we stand shoulder to shoulder or back to back, no one will be able to put us on our knees."
Responding to the remarks that Russia constantly helps Belarus, gives it loans, the president noted that Russia helps itself with this. After all, the finishing industries for many sectors of the Russian economy are concentrated in Belarus. The cooperation gives work to millions of Russians, and Russian loans are not a charity, as Belarus pays considerable interest on them, the head of state noted.