Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev

    The West should not use Ukraine to put pressure on Russia, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev.

    "The situation is not easy. We admit it. We have discussed it with the Russian President and the Prime Minister. It is good that we have the opportunity to talk with you today. You will conduct consultations at the level of Secretaries of the Security Councils. Because we need to see what will happen tomorrow, and coordinate our positions, our actions, if need be. It is very important” said the Belarusian head of state.

    “The main thing is that Ukraine should remain Ukraine, not a NATO base near our borders. We do not hide our concerns. It is important for Russia and Belarus. And, of course, we would like this close Slavic people to stay friends with us. We want to trade with them, we want to live peacefully with them. Our culture, languages are similar. We lived well. We want to continue to live like this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    "But it is the choice of the Ukrainian people. They should arrange their lives the way they want, but they should not create problems for their neighbors. This is important,” the President said.

    The head of state said that with time the situation will get stabilized in Ukraine. "Ukraine is already sobering up," he said.

    “Ukraine will not be with the West. It is not welcome there. The people in Ukraine would like to cooperate. The politicians have gotten some kind of ‘mental meltdown. Sometimes it happens, you know. For us and for Russia this situation is dangerous only in terms of potential problems in the future,” said the Belarusian leader.

    “The West should not use Ukraine as a factor to exert pressure on Russia, first of all. And not only Russia, because the deterioration of the situation, including the economic one, affects all countries of the entire post-Soviet space,” the Belarusian President said.

    According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the meetings in Moscow with the participation of the Presidents of the CSTO member states discussed the issues in the Central Asian region. “It must be said there are enough problems there. These issues should also be within our sight,” the President said. Nikolai Patrushev, for his part, noted that he came to Belarus to hold Security Council consultations. In his words, the current meeting follows the celebration of Victory Day, an important nationwide holiday for both Russia and Belarus. “Today we feel it easier to discuss security issues. When people are in a positive mood, security issues are easier to address,” Nikolai Patrushev stressed.

    The Russian official emphasized there are no problems in the bilateral relations. “We just need to discuss and coordinate our plans, then fulfill them. These are the things we usually do,” the Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus noted.

    According to Nikolai Patrushev, apart from the bilateral level Belarus and Russia have been closely cooperating in a multilateral format, first of all, in the CSTO and the CIS.