Russia and Belarus could get closer – Lukashenko – RT World News

The Belarusian leader believes that Moscow and Minsk could form a stronger union than a federation or a confederation and remain independent

Russia and Belarus could form a stronger union than a federation or a confederation without losing their sovereignty, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday as he appointed a new ambassador to Russia.

As local media reported, the Belarusian leader noted that his country’s sovereignty and independence were “a constant.”

“The West generates this idea that we lose our sovereignty and our independence by cooperating with Russia,” Lukashenko told Dmitry Krutoi, the new Belarusian ambassador to Russia, adding that the issue of Belarusian sovereignty was not even up for discussion.

Lukashenko went on to say that “By preserving the independence of Russia and Belarus, we will build such a union that will be the envy of federal and confederate states, and perhaps even unitary states.” He added that, “We are pretty smart people. The Russian president is an absolutely reasonable person and understands in which direction we have to go.

Belarus has been one of Russia’s closest allies in Europe since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. However, Minsk has in turn become the target of sweeping sanctions imposed by Western countries, which aim to punish those who are supposed to help Russia’s military campaign.

Earlier this month, the UK introduced economic, trade and transport sanctions against Minsk, which included a ban on the import of Belarusian steel and iron into the UK as well as a ban on export advanced technology components to Belarus.

In response, Belarus announced last week the withdrawal of its ambassador from the United Kingdom and a reduction of the country’s diplomatic presence in London to one charge d’affaires. Minsk explained the decision citing “hostile stages” taken by the British authorities, which were intended to provoke “maximum damage to Belarusian citizens and legal entities”.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “unprecedented political and social pressure” of the West, and the sanctions imposed on the conflict in Ukraine, push Belarus to integrate more quickly into Russia.

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