Updated at 13:36,21-06-2021

Lukashenka links EU sanctions to Belarus’ good relations with Russia


Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday that the European Union’s sanctions against Belarus were caused by, among other things, the country’s good relations with Russia.\

"This is a criterion for the West’s relations with us. If we side with Russia, [the West believes that] we are shit, an enemy and so on. This is their policy," the Belarusian leader said, speaking to a large group of Russian provincial journalists.

Mr. Lukashenka pointed out that he could not accept this policy and did not understand why Belarus should be an enemy to Russia. The West "spits at everything human, it has its own ambitions and geopolitical interests," he said. "Everything is like it was in history, but it is being done by different methods ranging from information warfare and so on."

Both Belarus and Russia held elections not long ago and the West criticized the elections in Russia more than the elections in Belarus but did not impose sanctions against Russia, Mr. Lukashenka said. This is because Russia would respond by stopping supplying gas and oil to the West, whereas Belarus, unlike Russia, can safely be "bent" because it does not have such resources, he explained.

Mr. Lukashenka reiterated that there is no dictatorship in Belarus because, according to him, "if you behave like our dictators – in the good sense of the word – for instance Stalin and others, you will just be thrown under caterpillar tracks and ground, if Russia does not intercede."

The Belarusian government has to pursue a tough policy because "we have to survive somehow," Mr. Lukashenka said. "Every year we face some challenge. To overcome all this and survive, we should unite or else we’ll be partitioned as was the case when the USSR broke up."