icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Lukashenko fishing for friends in dangerous EU waters

Lukashenko fishing for friends in dangerous EU waters
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko says his country is not against the normalization of relations with the European Union, but it cannot accept pressure from Europe.

"We would not mind normalization, but it must be devoid of pressure and blackmail,” Lukashenko said at a foreign policy conference on Thursday. “It would be counterproductive to put pressure on us and to insist on the fulfillment of their demands." The no-nonsense Belarusian leader believes his country is not to blame for the breakdown in relations with the EU."The crisis in the relations with Western states – rather with the European Union than with the United States – remains,” he remarked. “Belarus is not its cause; the real cause (for the crisis) is the pressure and blackmail by Western European countries."Minsk is merely responding to the foreign policy of the Western states, he added.Lukashenko then said he was receiving numerous proposals from businessmen and companies concerning Belarus’ response to Western policy. "The main thing is that our reaction to the EU policy must be dignified, beautiful," he said. "We should not turn the other cheek or bury our heads in the sand like ostriches do. Above all, we must not be indifferent to the sanctions. But we must not act like hawks either. Our reaction must be proportionate. It should not be excessive or damaging to our economy, it must not harm our relations with normal Europeans.”There are a variety of different Europeans in the European Union – comprised of officials, bureaucrats and whole countries, he added."For instance, there is Lithuania and Latvia. Do they want us to stop relations [between them and Belarus] and flee their markets? Yet we understand that they are under enormous pressure."Robert Bridge, RT

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts