MINSK, 20 April (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed the hope that his meeting with member of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada Evgeny Shevchenko will be a good signal and will contribute to the development of relations between the two countries, BelTA has learned.
"It's nice to meet you. It turns out that there are still people in Ukraine who respect Belarus," the head of state said as he welcomed the guest in the Palace of Independence.
"Not just respect, but who love and appreciate it. It is a great honor for me to meet you. I have long wanted to meet you. This is truly so," Evgeny Shevchenko replied.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this meeting is also important for him. "First of all, this is a reason to talk about Belarusian-Ukrainian relations. We probably have not spoken about them much lately. And when we do it is not always in the positive vein. I know what is happening in my native Ukraine. You know my attitude to Ukraine, not only as president, but my personal attitude. This is why this meeting of ours is very important as a good signal. I hope that this will be a good signal, based on what I know about you and your position on Belarusian-Ukrainian relations and in general in relation to Belarus," the president said.
Secondly, the head of state expects that this meeting will be a good start for cooperation between true patriots of Ukraine and Belarus. "We have never hidden anything from our Ukrainian friends, we do not intend to do so in the future, especially from our friends. Maybe I thought that the number of our friends has decreased, but this is hardly the case. Probably they are talked about less and maybe they are less visible now. But I don't think we have fewer friends there," the Belarusian leader said.