Last week Alyaksandr Lukashenka granted an interview to notorious Russian TV host Sergei Brilev. Its excerpt was published on vesti.ru; now the full version has appeared.
Brilev asked Lukashenka which EU’s mistakes the Eurasian Economic Union should not repeat, e.g. establishing common currency, overcentralization of national authorities, etc.
“It is a serious and complicated subject, I have not delved into it… I put more attention to the causes and consequences of the disintegration of the European Union. There was nothing wrong in their actions. One should have patience and mend ways. There is much democracy, a struggle of various political forces. There have been hot-spot issues of refugees, of NATO’s invasion of certain states. They made a lot of mistakes, the breeding ground for nationalism appeared… nationalism began to dominate in some countries. They have allegedly set the course for some sort of independence, the destruction of the European Union,” Lukashenka said.
Brilev responded to these words with laughter: “Wow, we are sitting with Lukashenka in Minsk, he was once labeled as dictator, and now he is talking about the rise of nationalism in Europe.”
“Well done! When I said at the Munich conference [Munich Security Conference Core Group meeting in Minsk] that I am totally against the disintegration of the EU, some jumped out of their skin – they remembered that the EU had imposed sanctions on Belarus and Lukashenka. And ‘Europe’s last dictator’ says such things! But there is no contradiction.
I have always supported the idea of the multipolar world and always paid for that. Americans pressured me for that, because none [of them] wanted multipolarity… And in this multi-polar world, the US, the EU, China, partly India, and Russia are backbones and our backers. Still, the EEU may become such a backbone. And if we remove one of them, the entire planet will begin to rock. From this perspective, I am against the disintegration of the EU, such as there may be.
If the EU collapses, it might be easier to Russia to talk with some states… and push for their energy policy. It is no scret that it would be advantageous for Russia. But there will be side effects of the collapse. For example, economy may plummet, which neither Russia nor the United States want.
I would say without any propaganda and political games like ‘Lukashenka has turned back’. Remember that I am fully aware of the fact that the West does not need Belarus ruled by Lukashenka. There should be other people in power so that they would welcome in the West. But we want to cooperate with them [the West].”