Lukashenka: Putin never raised issue of Belarus’ joining Russia, but ‘reacts emotionally’ to challenges

Belarus will never be hostile to Russia, Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in an interview with media holding Bloomberg.

“Now the Russian leadership never bluntly puts the question of Belarus’s becoming part of Russia. There were some hints in the past, and my reaction was harsh. We were and are a sovereign and independent state. And it will be so,” Lukashenka said.

He made a point of declaring Belarusian independence, saying his nation of 9.5 million will fight ‘to the last man’ against any outside force that may threaten it. There are, he added, ‘a lot of people in politics in Russia who think imperialistically and they don’t see Belarus as anything other than a northwestern province’.

Bloomberg reporter Ryan Chilcote stresses that Lukashenka was both assertive and cautious in responding to this notion, saying, ‘We won’t be some northwestern province just like we will never get into conflicts with Russia’.

There is no reason why the Russian authorities should frown at Belarus, Lukashenka believes.

“The Russian people will never understand them. What for should they fight against us? There are no reasons. I reiterate: He who wounds by the sword here, dies by the sword here.  We will fight against Europeans, Americans, Russians, against anyone who will aim at seizing the land where the Belarusians are destined to live.”

Yet with some comments Lukashenka defied Putin and with others he appeased him, Chilcote says. He said that the U.S. and its allies were mistaken to think that the Russian president was seeking to restore an empire but added that Putin and Russia react emotionally to open challenges. “So one should tread carefully around Russia,” Lukashenka noted.

In his opinion, not only Russia is to blame for intervention in the internal affairs of another country; one can also hurl reproaches at the United States, the EU and others.

As far as Belarus-Russia relations are concerned, the Ukrainian crisis failed to poison them, the Belarusian leader said., following Bloomberg, BelTA

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