The Belarusian leader granted an exclusive interview to TV channel Russia Today. In the interview he admitted that the process of integration ended in a fiasco, mentioned homosexuals and explained why he had never been a dictator.
In its television version journalist Sofiko Shevardnadze asked Lukashenka why large-scale plans [of further integration and single currency, flag and parliament] had fallen through.
“We were also supposed to draft a new constitution and hold a referendum on it. However, we never did this last bit – there was no constitution or a referendum <…>You say why? I’ve got the same question. Maybe we have the same answer. You’d better address it to someone else, not Belarus,” he answered. Lukashenka added that “there is still one great upside – our joint efforts towards a Union State led to the creation of a new organization – the Customs Union, which, in its turn, brought about a Common Economic Space and we are now working to transform it into the Eurasian Economic Union”.
The 58-year-old former head of a state-owned farm told RT he has no intention to hand over power to any of his sons. “I swore I would never delegate the reins of power to any of my relatives, loved ones or children. It’s out of the question,” Belarusian leader emphasized. “Who wins a fair election will have the power. Like I did when I won the race as a candidate from the opposition,” he added.
“In order to be a dictator like [ our grandfather] Stalin one has to have the resources. Resources are paramount, you need to understand that. I do not sleep with my arms around nuclear warheads. Do I have as much oil as Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela? No. Do I have as much natural gas as Russia? None at all. And so on and so forth. Do I have so many people as China does, 1.5 billion people? No. In order to be a dictator and dictate one’s will one has to have the resources: economic, social, military, population, and so on. But we have none,” Lukashenka stated.
Lukashenka also revealed the details of the scandal concerning German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle’s sexual orientation. “He [Polish FM Radoslaw Sikorski] kept asking questions like “Moscow mayor Luzhkov banned the gay pride parade, would you ban it if your people wanted one?” I replied, “You know I probably wouldn’t. I probably wouldn’t let them do it downtown, I’d have them parade somewhere on the outskirts, let other people watch, maybe say something. I basically don’t mind the lesbians. But I definitely do mind the gays <…> They just listened. I didn’t even see the look on their faces. The scandal broke out after they left. My Foreign Minister told me right after, “ Mr. Lukashenka, you would have done better not to talk about it.” “And why is that?” – I asked, and he said, “because he’s one of them,” and I said “why didn’t you tell me earlier?” And he said, “I sent you a memo,” and I just never finished reading it”.