MINSK, 2 December (BelTA) – Russia and Belarus share one fatherland - from Brest to Vladivostok, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in a recent interview with Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of the Russian state news agency MIA Rossiya Segodnya, BelTA has learned.
"Our Fatherland is one: from Brest to Vladivostok. Here we have two states - Belarus and Russia. Two states, one Fatherland," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state noted that Belarus and Russia pursue a coordinated foreign policy and are developing a joint group of troops. "Makei and Lavrov are on the front line diplomatically. Next are Shoigu and the Belarusian defense minister. Military cooperation follows diplomatic cooperation, we support each other," the Belarusian leader said. “With whom else does Russia have a single army? Not with anyone. We actually keep guard together. We have a single defense space."
"We converse with you in Russian. Name another country where Russian is the state language, where the Russian language is used freely. In Belarus it even overshadows, in my opinion, our national, native, Belarusian language," the president added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he has been reproached for pursuing such a policy. "I always say that you can't force people to speak a certain language. Then I often give an example. Putin thanked me for the Russian language. I say, what you are thanking me for? For making Russian the state language, he answered. But this is my language, I responded. Russian is my language. The language is alive. It is developing: it was like that then, now it is like this. We were part of one and the same empire, and we contributed to this language, too," the Belarusian leader added.