MOSCOW, 24 May (BelTA) – Eurasianism and the current Eurasian Economic Union originated from the kitchen of President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned it during the 2nd Eurasian Economic Forum, BelTA has learned.
Before the Belarusian head of state started his speech the moderator of the plenary session Aleksandr Shokhin remarked that Aleksandr Lukashenko is a patriarch of integration processes in the post-Soviet space as much as the first Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev. The Belarus president had overseen many integration processes and had spoken in favor of preserving economic ties between countries.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Sincerely speaking, as an experienced man I was present at the origins of many processes. I should tell you that our Eurasianism and the current Eurasian Economic Union originated as a kitchen table discussion at President Putin's. It was truly like that. He is present here and can confirm it. And the concept was a good one then. Ukraine was with us back then – [a former Ukraine president] Leonid Danilovich Kuchma.”
“Although I told my colleague that it was unlikely something would come out of it because of the situation that had started evolving in the post-Soviet space and in our region back then. Nevertheless, together with Ukraine we worked out as many as 28 documents, I think. But later on Ukraine stepped away from this process as I'd anticipated,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko credited Nursultan Nazarbayev with keeping his colleagues within limits of an economic union despite attempts of the sides, particularly Russia, to add some political component or even a bit of a military political component to the union. “But since decisions have always been made via a consensus, we've arrived at where we are today,” the Belarusian head of state said.