Updated at 15:00,06-02-2023

Belarus and Austria should open new page in their relations, Lukashenka says

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

Belarus and Austria should open a new page in their relations, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in Minsk on Tuesday while meeting with Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, and Karlheinz Kopf, second president of Austria`s National Council (lower parliamentary house).

“Based on the experience of cooperation that we already have, we should open a new page and move forward,” he said, adding that it was not too late for the two countries to get a fresh start.

Mr. Lukashenka invited Austrian businesspeople to come to Belarus. “There is only one condition—those who come here should treat our people in the same way they work in Austria,” he said. “We will protect you in exactly the same way [we protect] our Belarusian companies. You won’t be strangers, we’ll do everything to make you comfortable here. And Austrian businesspeople should have an equally respectful attitude to our state, our people.”

Speaking about his reelection for a fifth presidential term, Mr. Lukashenka said that a “new stage” was beginning in his own life and the life of the Belarusians in general.

He noted that the timing of his meeting with Messrs. Leitl and Kopf, which comes two days after the presidential election, was not accidental. According to Mr. Lukashenka, he concluded while serving his first presidential term that Western countries had “divided their roles in the post-Soviet region,” assigning Austria to pay particular attention to Belarus. He described Austria as a “high-tech” country that resembles Belarus “in some respects.”

Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that economic cooperation talks within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, represented by Austria, were simultaneously taking place in Minsk.