SOCHI, 15 February (BelTA) – Sovereignty is important for any state, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he spoke to journalists in Sochi, Russia, BelTA has learned.
“Why would we raise the question of sovereignty of Belarus and Russia? It is a sanctuary, it is sacred. We have no problem with sovereignty [in relations between the two states]. We do not discuss these issues even in this context,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
Addressing the reporter who asked about the sovereignty, the head of state returned the question: “Are you ready to give up or trade in your sovereignty today?”
“I am not talking about independence. For me independence is a relative concept. No country – and China is a case in point – ever raises the question of sovereignty,” the president noted.
He emphasized that the parties proceed from the fact that there are two states today. “You know how they emerged. It was neither me nor the president [Vladimir Putin] who initiated the dissolution of that state [the USSR]. We have the same stance on that matter,” the Belarusian head of state said.
To confirm his point about the close partnership between Belarus and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko cited the statements made by the ministers in charge of culture, sport and education during the meeting. “We stick together. For example, if we take Ukraine, another Slavonic state, we will see the huge rift that has emerged in recent years! However, we speak the same language and understand the issues in the same way,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
According to the president, the cooperation yields benefits. For example, Belarus will actively adopt the best practices of the Sirius Education Center in Sochi that was visited by the heads of state.
“It is not about sovereignty. I will give you my take on that. I believe my counterpart and friend will agree with it. We are ready to advance in our union, in the unification of efforts of our states and peoples, as far as you are ready to do it. We both can get united as early as tomorrow. We have no problems with that. But are Russians and Belarusians ready to do that? That is the question. And this question should be addressed to you. We will do what you want us to do. If you do not want it, then no matter how big and powerful Russia is, today it is not able to impose its will upon anyone. After all, we do not really need it,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Therefore, be ready. It is about the way you think and the way you act. Set goals. I mean the people of Russia and Belarus. We will fulfill them. We are your servants,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.