- RusVesna - translated by James Harmon
"Accounting should not be the basis of the Belarusian-Russian relations", said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the meeting on current issues of development of the country on Thursday in Minsk.
At the beginning of the meeting the president asked for a report on cooperation with Russia, especially in view of the recently held meeting, in Bishkek with the heads of governments of the Eurasian Economic Union.
"I was most surprised by the statements of my friend Medvedev. We are, by the way, already beginning to fear that we shall have to buy gas at European prices. We fear the prices of $ 150 and $ 200 per barrel. It's, you know, akin to thi view of everyone in Russia. First of all, in Belarus, we fear this opinion that we are freeloaders upon Russia: Now, you see, they give us some kind of gift...", Lukashenko stated.
"I do not want to delve into the details, but Medvedev has to understand that if we pay as we are in 'Europe' then, this is something for which he will have to pay, too. And the price will be incredibly higher than the price of natural gas. I thought, and I think so far, and probably the vast majority of the Russian people and Russian citizens think and understand that our relationship with Russia - this is not about accounting. Bookkeeping here and the price of natural gas, which does not belong to Medvedev, should not be the basis of our relations ", said the Belarusian leader.
"They are based on something more. And in order to evaluate these relationships, it is necessary to look at the middle of the last century, when we lost a third of the population... you know why (Ukrainian fascists and collaborationists murdered up to 1/3 of the Belarussian population - ed. note). And if someone wants to escalate the situation once again instead of addressing us, it will not be for the best", Lukashenko went on to explain.
Designating the position of Belarus on the issue of settlement of oil and gas relations, the president stated; "I will say very briefly and clearly what we want: not merely low prices for gas. We need to guide brotherly Russia to fulfill its obligations, according to the soul. If we build our union - a single state, which we saught to build - then our people and businesses should be on a level playing field in this market. This is all we want and nothing more, " stated Lukashenko.
"If someone from the wise men out there think that we can be constantly rotated in and put on our knees, it shall not be", - concluded Lukashenko.
On March 7 at a meeting in Bishkek Heads of EurAsEC governments, a controversy arose between the prime ministers of Russia and Belarus Dmitry Medvedev and Andrei Kobyakov. In particular, Kobyakov said that he sees real progress in integration in the EurAsEC, and also said that "the problems in bilateral relations fundamentally affect our participation in the multilateral integration processes." According to the Belarusian Premier, Minsk is concerned about the unresolved issues in the oil and gas sphere between Russia and Belarus.
Later that same day, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia cherishes relations with Belarus, and confirmation of this is seen in the amount of assistance provided by Moscow to Minsk.
"I want to remind you of a statement that President Putin made at a recent press conference in Bishkek, where he said that the relations with Belarus are extremely important to us, we value these relationships, and the best proof of this is the amount of direct and indirect aid, which the Russian Federation provides our brother Belarus", Peskov stated definitively.
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