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Lukashenko: Belarus-Russia relations need a boost, not a reset

MINSK (BelTA) – Relations between Belarus and Russia do not need to be reset, they need to be intensified, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, BelTA has learned.

“As for the Belarus-Russia relations, perhaps, we do not need to talk about some kind of reset, but about the strengthening, intensification of our relations. This is absolutely obvious. This is not just a thesis, but real life. I want you to understand and know that we are ready for this,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that there is a lot of talk about what turn the bilateral relations will take. The president emphasized Belarus' determination to maintain close cooperation with Russia. “I will tell you straight from the shoulder, in a friendly way that both Russia and Belarus live (by the way, not by the will of Belarus) in their own house or apartment,” the president said referring to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which did not happen at the will of Belarus. “And we would like to have not just good-neighborly relations, we would like to have very close, fraternal relations with the Russian Federation,” the president assured.

“I said nothing new. I have always talked about this. However, listening to me, they did not always want to emphasize and repeat it, especially in Russia. Apparently, someone was not interested in it, but time has shown that we cannot escape very close and friendly relations. I am sure that this is what the Russian leadership wants and prefers today,” the head of state added.