Belarus and Russia, which created a union state, did more than other post-Soviet states in building their unity, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an exclusive interview with TASS Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Tuesday.
«Together with Russia we have done a lot, definitely more than the other post-Soviet republics or the former socialist countries, to preserve our unity so that our peoples do not feel bitter and offended after the USSR’s disintegration,» Lukashenko said adding that many decisions had equated the Belarusians and Russians in their rights.
«We have moved away from an abyss, which could have divided the Belarusians and Russians in a dispute over the city of Smolensk,» he added.
Lukashenko said it would have been wrong to talk exclusively about positive things in the Belarus-Russia relations.
The Belarusian president said that Russia and Belarus had encountered an array of problems on their way to unity. «Sometimes, Russia cut off oil and gas supplies or refused to allow our goods entering into its territory. Perhaps, we did not always behave ourselves in the right way though we did try not to anger or offend our ‘elder brother’,» Lukashenko said. He believes that the two countries still have differences on some issues.
«We have covered a long way in order not to part and break our relations and remain close to each other in economy, politics and social life. It is a difficult path which we have covered with dignity though not without shortcomings and failures,» the Belarusian president stressed.
Belarusian leader wants his people to be prosperous and ‘strive to thrive’
Alexander Lukashenko hopes to see his fellow countrymen prosperous and wealthy in the foreseeable future.
«My dream is that people never fear of being short on money and not having enough to buy what they need. It is a nightmare, probably even in America, let alone Russia and other countries where people might be lacking, that’s natural,» he said.
«And I hope that people in Belarus never suffer from that. This is my only idealistic dream,» he said.
He stressed however that «people should do their best to provide for themselves.»
«Can a Belarusian set a goal and provide for himself and his family, can he earn a living? Yes, he can,» Lukashenko asserted. «And this is my dream to spare people in Belarus from worries about money. And I will do that.».