MINSK, 15 April (BelTA) – Belarus does not mind constructive criticism from the West and can learn from it, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in an interview with Turkey's news agency Anadolu, BelTA has learned.
“The West does not like many trends that took place in Belarus in the past and are still visible in the present. However, this is our country-specific feature. It is the first time in our history that we have been building our own independent, sovereign state and we have been doing it on the ruins of the fallen empire. It is not that easy, we did not have the relevant experience. However, by overcoming obstacles and debris, we have built our state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“We had our ups and downs on the way, but we managed to create this state and today the West acknowledges our statehood. The West dropped sanctions against us – it means that indirectly they admitted that they were not absolutely right. Therefore, we are okay with constructive criticism. We are good students, we learn well. There are many good things about the West that we can learn,” the president noted.
The head of state added that Belarus also learns from its eastern neighbors – Russia and China. “We were one country with Russia, we are Slavonic nations. We can relate to many things that are going on in Russia. If we do not like something that they do, we learn from Russia's mistakes, if we like something, we adopt it. The same pertains to the People's Republic of China. My first visit to China took place when I was not president yet. Back then, China was creating free economic zones and was looking for investors. I learned many things there. I am glad that when I became president, I made the right choice by expanding contacts with China. China supports us now and we embrace some of their practices in Belarus,” the president noted.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the West criticizes many countries, including Turkey. “Americans do not like your position. You purchased defense weapons from Russia. You badly needed them and it was not possible to purchase them at a lower price anywhere else. They are not just denouncing you; they are trying to attack you. They start carping and attacking Turkey whenever it pursues an independent policy. It means Turkey is doing everything right from the point of view of defending its national interests,” the president emphasized.
“As soon as your competitors (they are not your adversaries, because you are in the same bloc – NATO) and, maybe, rivals start criticizing you, you should know that you are doing the right thing. This is my view. By the way, I support Mr Erdogan in many ways when he defends the sovereignty and independence. I hold the same position in Belarus,” the head of state said.
He added that criticism never hurts, but politicians do not like it. “Nevertheless, one should drive conclusions from it. We learn from constructive criticism and it does not matter who voices it – West or East. However, if it is unconstructive, we try to ignore it. We are just doing our thing no matter what they say and as you see, years later, this position has proved right. Therefore, my advice to you is to keep doing what is good for Turkey. You know it and you do it well,” the Belarusian leader concluded.More about President