Aleksandr Lukashenko gives interview to TV channel 24 KZ of Khabar news agency

  • 1
President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko praised increasingly vibrant relations between Belarus and Kazakhstan. The head of state made the statement in an interview to the TV channel 24 KZ of the news agency Khabar which he gave on 1 October prior to his official visit to Kazakhstan.

“It would be incorrect to plan some kind of a breakthrough in our relations. Our relations advance very smoothly, dynamically despite a certain reduction of the trade turnover due to the global crisis but this is only natural,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the two countries have absolutely no problems in politics, diplomacy, the states have common views in the international scene, have identical approaches to the international agenda, and there is complete understanding between the governments and the presidents.

As far as the economy is concerned, Belarus takes an active part in industrialization projects in Kazakhstan. “We are now working on about 20 major projects. Kazakhstan spends hundreds of millions on them. We use the money, set up joint ventures in all areas over there. Our economies are absolutely compatible, we almost never compete and it is a great advantage,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the presidents had agreed to hold meetings annually in order to monitor the fulfillment of arrangements and the progress in implementing bilateral projects.

The interviewer drew special attention to integration matters.

The Belarusian head of state reminded that about 20 basic agreements work to form the Single Economic Space, a new integration stage after the Customs Union. Dynamic work is in progress to set up the Eurasian Economic Union.

“Yes, there can be some dissatisfaction in the course of the establishment of the Single Economic Space and in the future Eurasian Economic Union. But it is very good that we still have a year to prepare major documents concerning the Eurasian Economic Union. Because if we underperformed somewhere, we will disrupt the launch of the Union’s operation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Because everything that Belarus, Kazakhstan, and particularly Russia has promised — let’s be honest, it is the central player in this space — has to be implemented,” he added.

The Belarusian President believes that the interests of participants should not be infringed during the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

“Together with Russia and Kazakhstan we should play a very important role in forming the Eurasian Economic Union in the foreseeable future, in forming a union that will benefit everyone. We should not put pressure on each other. We should think about what we can do today. The Eurasian Economic Union is an association we can really build today without aiming for some grand goals in the future,” the Belarusian head of state said.

“For example, if Kazakhstan takes such a close interest in unified tariffs, a universal transport policy, and we and the Russians are interested in it, but Kazakhstan is interested to a larger degree, then Russia will have to act on its promises because the equality depends on Russia above all. Contrariwise, we will not be able to found the Eurasian Economic Union by 1 January 2015. Therefore all these steps are very important,” the President of Belarus believes.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he did not doubt that the Eurasian Economic Union will be profitable for all the member states.

“Without a shadow of a doubt it will be profitable for all the states. It will create a huge market, roughly 170 million citizens. Thanks to the domestic market it will be possible to avoid some cataclysms, which happen in the global economy. Take a look at China. The fact that we will enjoy the freedom of travels, capital flow, workforce and commodity flow is a good thing. We will get equal business operations terms. It is very important for the economy,” the Belarusian President said.

“What we have done and what we are doing now is extremely beneficial for the people, particularly for the economy, for finances,” the President of Belarus emphasized.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia are establishing modern forms of integration, not reviving the USSR.

In his words, the leaders of the three states regret the dissolution of the Soviet Union; however, there is no turning back.

“We are absolutely different now; the global environment is completely different; we need to go forward creating integration unions, because the entire world is doing it. We were outpaced by other countries where integration is proceeding faster. We lag behind them in terms of integration,” the President of Belarus said.

“However, no one wants to go back to old times, and it is not possible. Therefore it would be wrong and illogical to say that someone wants to re-create the Soviet Union. We are establishing modern integration forms that do not agitate the outside world or our nations. People want to live in sovereign, independent states,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“The USSR was a counterbalance maintaining the multipolarity of the world. Now we all are looking for this multipolarity, but it is hard to maintain it now. This is the reason for tensions and hostilities. This allows one country to attack another one without the consent of the United Nations. There is no counterbalance,” the Belarusian head of state said.

In an interview Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the issue of introducing the single currency in the Single Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia is not on the agenda today.

“Someone says about the introduction of the single currency today. We have not come to it yet. We have not felt the burning need for it yet. The issue is not on today’s agenda, and there is no need to push it there artificially,” the President underlined.

“Some politicians, especially in Russia, got used to plant something which is irrelevant today. For instance, they are talking about some unification, including in the political sector at a time when we have been building an economic union,” the head of state remarked.

“Some got used to force up such issues: like we are shifting to the single currency tomorrow. We are not discussing it. We have not come to such a necessity, we are not ready for it,” the President of Belarus said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, there is also talk about the development of some new political structure. The Belarusian head of state noted that there would be no supranational structures which go contrary with the interests of any of the Troika member states.

“Let us do what we need to do today, what our people need, and what is good for the people and the state. The country’s political independence, sovereignty and stability should remain a priority with this,” the President of Belarus stressed.

The head of state also communicated his opinion about the situation in the Arab world.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the military interference of the West in Syria will turn into a catastrophe for the entire region.

“I take an extremely negative view of the war in Syria not only as a president but also a man,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “No good will come out of it. God forbid Americans to get involved the way they did in Libya and the entire NATO bloc. If they start bombing, it will be a catastrophe. Then the entire Arab curve may be set on fire,” he added.

“Things will turn nasty for everyone then because Iran and other nations will get involved in this conflict via Iraq. Things will be very hot,” the Belarusian head of state believes.

The President remarked that Belarus follows Russia’s wake in this matter. “We take an active stance in this matter, we openly speak up,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “And we are absolutely against even a superpower, under the guise of any slogans whatsoever, democratic or some other ones, interfering in internal affairs of a nation, deposing, murdering, and hanging presidents. The entire world has already seen it, from Saddam Hussein to Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi,” the President remarked.

“How many thousands of people have been murdered? What kind of democracy is it? Who is allowed to handle the world like that? The American nation has grabbed the right of some exclusivity for itself. We survived that kind of exclusivity in the middle of the last century. It cost 50 million lives,” noted the Belarus President. “Bombing other nations by exploiting the right of some exclusivity is, I think, mildly speaking, counterproductive, it is very bad,” the Belarusian head of state believes.

“Putin was right when he said that the scariest thing is when this exclusivity ideology is indoctrinated into one’s own people. 300 million people in this case. And the way it happened in Germany, they start thinking that they are a special race, special blood, a peculiar kind of exclusivity, and they are destined to set the world to rights and measure everyone with their own standards. It is a very dangerous tendency,” the Belarusian head of state emphasized.

Speaking about the influence of events in the Arab world on countries of the Customs Union, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the instability had not been useful.

“Sincerely speaking, we fear the spillover of this terrorism. It is a great danger, a great threat to southern borders of our future Eurasian Economic Union. Therefore, we keep an eye on these problems and openly speak up about what we don’t like in this conflict,” the Belarusian head of state said.

The TV channel 24 KZ is part of the media agency Khabar. The latter is a leading media holding company in Kazakhstan. Created in 1995, it comprises five TV channels and five websites.