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Belarus – Russian relations not about accounting

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Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus – Russian relations don’t depend on accounting, reported NSNBC.
If Russia wants us to pay European prices for gas, he said, Russia will have to pay a price too, and one that is more costly than that of the gas discount. He also stressed that Russian Prime Minister Medvedev’s recent statements make everybody see Russia thinks Belarus depends on Russian handouts. Lukashenko also asserted that it is important to recall previous deadly European disasters.

Lukashenko made several comments on Belarus – Russian relations during a Cabinet session on March 9, 2017, quoted in the State news agency of Belarus, BelTa. Lukashenko reportedly started the session demanding to be briefed on the cooperation with Russia, especially on the results of the recent intergovernmental session of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in Bishkek. Lukashenko was quotes as saying:

“Of course, I am aware of the general state of affairs. I was very much surprised by the statements of my old friend Medvedev (Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev). … They start to threaten us that we will have to buy natural gas at European prices, at $200 instead of $150. This, you know, looks like a hint to everybody, above all in Russia and in Belarus, that that we are dependent on Russia: that is to say, they grace us with a gift. …. “

“I do not want to go into details either, but Medvedev should understand that if we pay as much as they do in Europe, he will also have to pay for certain things. And the price will be much higher than the price for natural gas. I think that the majority of Russian people still think and realize that our relations with Russia are not about accounting. Accounting and the prices for the natural gas that does not belong to Medvedev should not be the bedrock of our relations. ..

Lukashenko stressed that bilateral relations should be “about something bigger”. He added, that:
“To evaluate these relations, we should look back to the middle of the 20th century when one third of our population was killed, and you know how that happened. If someone wants to aggravate the situation and reproach us once again, such attempts will fail”.

President Lukashenko noted that Belarus’ commented on bilateral relations and disputes about gas prices saying:
“I will be concise and precise: we do not want low prices for gas. We want the government of our brotherly Russia to fulfill its obligations, in essence and spirit. If we are trying to build a union, a common state, our people and enterprises, our businesses should have equal conditions on this market. This is what we want. … If some people believe that they can constantly pressurize us and bring us to our knees, this will never happen”.

Ironically, but not surprisingly, the Russian State-funded TV Channel Russia Today (RT), would report on the subject without quoting Lukashenko, without reference to the dispute about gas prices and other issues that stress bilateral relations, while the Russian State-sponsored broadcaster merely attempted to brush off the situation as if “The West” and “Western Media” made up hopeful stories about tensions between Belarus and Russia.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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