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Belarus president blames individuals for Eurasian Economic Union integration problems

MINSK (BelTA) – Problems concerning the advancement of integration processes in the Eurasian Economic Union have nothing to do with interests of nations, they stem from individual people. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement while talking to representatives of Russian regional mass media in Minsk on 17 November, BelTA has learned.

A reporter asked Alexander Lukashenko why integration processes are covered so differently in Belarusian and Russian mass media. In her words, Belarusian mass media publish the relevant news rather often while the topic is of little interest for Russian mass media.

Alexander Lukashenko stated: “There is a great deal of problems with integration. They are primarily connected not with interests of nations and countries. Frankly speaking, they stem from individual persons.”

Alexander Lukashenko reminded that in the past a Russian TV channel aired a series of films Krestny Batka [godfather] to vilify the Belarusian head of state. “I didn't watch them but I was told a lot about them. The films contained all kinds of dirt. I am an experienced man. I understood that such films were unlikely to get airtime without an approval from above,” noted the head of state. “Why was it done? I have a lot of friends in Russia and in top echelons of the Russian government. I asked the question and was told that people in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and the regions liked Lukashenko too much and it was necessary to reduce this level of affection. So that was done.”

“Can you imagine that Lukashenko does his best to break into the Kremlin, grab Monomakh's Cap and take it with him to Minsk? You must agree it would be totally absurd. It is legally impossible and nobody needs it, first of all, I don't need it,” said the Belarusian leader.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that Belarus is ready to advance and step up cooperation, however, any union should rely on principles of equality. “Introducing a single currency sounds like an excellent idea. What currency would that be? The Russian ruble I am told. Why not the Belarusian ruble I wonder? Where will the emission center be located? In Russia I am told. How then Belarus' sovereignty and independence will be secured?” wondered the head of state.

“We uphold the idea of smart integration on principles of equality. I invite you to look at historic examples: any union can exist only if it is built transparently on classic principles. A foundation based on equality is one of them. Without it the union is doomed to fall apart,” concluded the President.