Lukashenko: West Demands Belarus Become Another Ukraine
Story Code : 966744
"They are demanding Belarus should become another Ukraine, which they have described as a democratic and developed country. Two days ago they were given a clear answer. We will never become like Ukraine. Because we are Belarusians and we have our own vision of our prospects," Lukashenko said at a conference on the country’s socio-economic development, the news agency BelTA reports.
He expressed the certainty that among those present in the conference room and among the ordinary citizens who wished a normal life for themselves and for their children there was nobody eager to see Belarus become another Ukraine.
Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that Belarus had found itself in the very center of a global confrontation between the West and Russia. He said that in that struggle the participants were acting not in isolation - channels for talks kept working.
"Don’t you think that we just fight, that there are no contacts, that we do not see anything, that they are not telling us anything and that we do not respond. We have channels we use for communication," Lukashenko said.
He recalled that last year, during the presidential election the collective West tried to destabilize the situation in the country.
"Their expectations that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, their dream would have materialized in August last year. They would have created a sanitary cordon. They would have created a block with its border drawn near Smolensk. They failed," Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko said that the country’s leadership was not going to expel Western diplomats amid the new sanctions.
"We will not kick out anyone. We are going to do it in a civilized manner in line with the norms of international law," the BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.
"If we declare you persona non grata, you will have time to [pack] your bags and leave," the head of state noted, adding, "We are not going to take away your luggage and its contents," Lukashenko stated.
On December 2, the EU imposed the fifth package of sanctions on Belarus, which included some 17 individuals and 11 organizations.
The US Department of the Treasury also introduced some restrictions on the Belarusian government debt securities. Furthermore, amid the migration crisis and alleged infringement of public freedoms in the republic, some 20 individuals, 12 legal entities and three aircraft were slapped to sanctions.
The leadership of the EU, the UK and Canada also declared some additional penalties.
In turn, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting, said that Belarus was being subject to sanctions for revealing "the dark side of European democracy".