On August 18, Alyaksandr Lukashenka made a comment on the recent cabinet reshuffle and responded to his being criticized on the Internet. Among others, he raised the issue of Belarus’ foreign policy.
“I am sorry to say, but some people, especially Russians, bad mouth, i.e. ‘Lukashenka wants to make a point or show-off to Putin’. Look, we have known each other for more than 20 years. What else should I show to Putin? He knows me, as the people say, inside out. I do not report to the Kremlin. We agreed upon our relations. We have the most advanced relations – in the Union of Belarus and Russia. We have signed a lot of, more than a hundred legal acts, we have created a certain database. We can make decisions verbally and implement them. We have a very good and close relationship,” the Belarusian leader said.
“But what do we want from Russia? If Russia and Belarus signed an agreement or a contract, we demand it should be perfectly respected. And I openly say that we will never become vassals of any country. It is not necessary to demand from us to access to Russia, as some do: ‘Lukashenka should make Belarus join Russia!’ If a politician takes such a decision in Belarus, his days will be numbered. Do we really need that the morern world? We can live in the alliance with Russia and fulfil our common tasks without any problems. This is the closest country for us. In fact, we are one and the same people. Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians come from the same root. We do not want a replay of what is going in Ukraine, I mean the conflict involving Russia. We do not need it. Neither does Russia. Because it has the only one-thousand-kilometre ‘window’ from east to west – Belarus. Russia needs a stable Belarus,” Lukashenka stressed.
According to him, Russia is still wary of losing Belarus after reports of its flirting with the West.
“There has not been any pivot [to Europe] and we are not going to do that. Our fate is determined by the Lord to be here, in the heart of Europe — to be a reliable and strong bridge between east and west,” Lukashenka added.