In his extended first meeting with Mikhail Babich, Putin’s new ambassador to Minsk, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka made it very clear that his country “was, is and will remain sovereign and does not plan to become part of the Russian Federation under any circumstances.”
Their meeting took place yesterday, and Lukashenka’s remarks were broadcast on Belarusian television, underscoring how important he viewed them as dispelling widespread rumors that Putin had sent Babich to Belarus to prepare for an Anschluss of that country.
“We are a sovereign and independent country,” Lukashenka told Babich. “If one speaks openly then this is the case not only thanks to the efforts of our people. Russia wanted this, and the leadership of Russia at that time. The present leadership has declared that it is continuing that course.”
“To speak in the 21st century of the incorporation or inclusion of Belarus as part of Russia, as some there write, is simply funny. I have never heard this even once from the President of Russia. And I never heard if from the first President of Russia either,” the Belarusian president continued.
“I think that we have developed normal relations, but I want that you hear about how I see our relations with the Russian Federation from my own lips and in public,” Lukashenka concluded.
He also added that “Belarus was and remains Russia’s ally, and is linked to it not only by a common history but by a large number of integration agreements. There will be no ‘turn to the West, which some Russians fear,” Lukashenka told Babich.
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- Are Russian oligarchs serving as Putin’s ‘little green men’ in Belarus?
- Fearful of Moscow and his own people, Lukashenka fails to crush pro-Russian march in Minsk on Victory Day
- Putin planning to interfere in Belarusian elections to replace Lukashenka, Sivitsky says
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- Struggle for Belarus: Minsk is promoting Belarusianization; Moscow, re-Sovietization
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