Image by Serge Serebro, Vitebsk Popular News
The leader of Russia’s neighbor, Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko, says his nation will always be a strategic ally of Moscow, as well as as strong economic and trade partner.
“Russia has always been and will remain our country’s strategic ally. We pursue an agreed foreign and security policy and are successfully developing an array of social and humanitarian issues,” said the leader of ‘White Rus,’ reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“We are developing common approaches towards the key economic issues together,” the president said. He added that Russia accounts for half of the $2 bln exports increase in Belarus. “We see that, despite all the obstacles emerging for us in that market, including artificial ones, our goods are highly sought after.”
“It is necessary to continue working calmly, confidently and persistently with the Russian side to resolve specific economic issues.”
“If the Russians say today that embargoes and sanctions are a chance for their economy, you must understand that this is an equal chance for our economy too, because our economic ties are intertwined and cooperation is really deep…When they talk about import substitution, this is a chance for our import substitution.”
Russia and Belarus recently settled differences over energy payments to Moscow as the debts were most likely refinanced. Since that easing of tensions, Minsk has made efforts to move closer to Moscow.