“Lukashenko’s election campaign built on accusing Russia” – Medvedev

The Belarusian president’s recent anti-Russian rhetoric connected with his election campaign must not affect relations between the peoples of the two countries, President Dmitry Medvedev has said in his videoblog.

“Our nations will always see each other as brothers, no matter who is in office,” the Russian President believes.

Touching upon recent tensions in relations with Belarus, Dmitry Medvedev made a specific reference to “some election campaigns in Belarus” being “essentially based on anti-Russian stories.”

“President Lukashenko’s utterings not only go beyond all diplomatic sense, they are downright indecent. He is obviously concerned about a lot of things: bringing order to our economy; Russian journalists talking to Belarusian opposition; even what happens to some of our retired and sacked higher officials. The president of Belarus, it seems, should be looking into the interior affairs of his own country such as for instance the multiple disappearances of Belarusian citizens. Russia, like other countries, is concerned over these people’s fates,” Medvedev said.

President Medvedev has often used his videoblog in the past to deal with difficult topics concerning Russia’s relations with other states.

Now, using it as a response to Belarusian leadership’s accusations and actions recently, he said that “appointing Russia Belarus’ enemy” greatly surprises him, taking into consideration the scope of aid effort to Belarus on Russia’s part.

“I am deeply convinced that Russia always has and will consider Belarus the closest of its neighbors. We are united by a long shared history, culture, common joys and grief,” President Medvedev pointed out. “Being a good neighbor has been the reason we have been helping Belarus ever since the fall of the Soviet Union 20 years ago. The scope of our aid effort, no matter what people might say, has been huge. This year alone we have made discounts on oil shipments to Belarus worth approximately $2 billion in total. Gas shipments to Belarus have been subject to commeasurable concessions. The reason we did that was because we sincerely believed that our nations are inseparable. This is why I was extremely surprised that the Belarusian authorities have lately taken to anti-Russian rhetoric.”