Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko hopes that the period of work of Mikhail Babich as the ambassador of Russia in Belarus will be the period of prosperity in bilateral relations. He made the statement at the meeting with the Russian diplomat on 10 October.
At the beginning of the meeting the head of state remarked that they usually say something important and formal on such occasions. “But perhaps, it would be better not to limit my speech to a certain formal statement today,” the president said.
Alexander Lukashenko reminded that there were different opinions and things in mass media before the appointment of Mikhail Babich. “Perhaps, a response to these statements is needed. It would be wrong to say that they are absolutely false. But I cannot say that they are true either. Every group of people interested in the Belarusian-Russian relations tried to project certain things through the personality of the ambassador… You know that the previous ambassador worked in Belarus for many years, the topic was not actualized in Belarus. And then a new ambassador was appointed. Because of our relations with the Russian Federation a certain group of people tried to say something using this opportunity,” the head of state said.
“Frankly speaking, there were many negative things. But I would like to say the following thing: I hope that the period of your work at the Russian embassy in Belarus will be the most active, efficient and breakthrough period. If this is your goal, and I feel that it is, we will be a success. This is will be the period of prosperity in our relations with the Russian Federation,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to Alexander Lukashenko, his confidence in it has strengthened after the conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I do not conceal that we discussed you candidacy several times. The president told me a lot. And we agreed that by giving additional authorities to the ambassador of Russia (these are broad authorities in the Belarusian-Russian relations, first of all, in the economy and it never happened before) the president of Russia demonstrates that Belarus is a very important country for Russia and that Russia will be building relations with it,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko recalled his recent response to various statements and even behavior of Russian authorities that Russia is afraid and does not want to lose Belarus. “Just like the authorities of Russia, I would have been worried about the fate of Belarus: if it turns to the West, as certain people in Russia and here sometimes say, or if it stays with brotherly Russia,” the president said. “I will openly say: it makes no sense for us to move back and forth. I am the president who once stopped fervent nationalism and other anti-Russian issues and held a referendum so that our people could make a decision. The overall majority of our people voted for the unity of Belarus and Russia,” the president said.
The head of state emphasized that Belarus views Russia as a close ally today. “Russia and its people will always give a helping hand if necessary. And we will do the same for the Russian Federation,” the Belarusian leader assured.
“One things is unshakable: Belarus is a sovereign and independent country. Sincerely speaking, Belarus has become a sovereign and independent state not only thanks to the efforts of our nation. Russia and the then government of Russia wanted it. The current government spoke about the continuity of the course. And to speak in the 21st century (as they write there) about incorporation, the inclusion of Belarus in Russia is simply ridiculous. I have never heard things like that from the current president of Russia, from the previous president or from the first president,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“I think we will build normal relations. But I want you to know how I see the relations with the Russian Federation. I hope that the period of work of Mikhail Viktorovich [Babich] will make us and our children proud,” the Belarusian leader concluded.
Mikhail Babich in turn said: “Since the very first days I felt the attention and willingness to all colleagues to do their best to help me adapt as soon as possible and as efficiently as possible. Efficiency relies on the tempo required from us by Vladimir Vladimirovich and you. Because the frequency, depth and consistency of our meetings even during the recent month and a half does not give us a chance to relax. We will try to fill this tempo with concrete meaning,” the ambassador said.