Aleksandr Lukashenko makes working trip to Russia

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The Great Victory is important because it saved the global civilization from destruction. Today Victory Day is unanimously and clearly recognized. President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the informal meeting with presidents of Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan in Moscow on 8 May.

The five heads of state attended the exercise meant to examine control over the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Moscow. Then they held an informal meeting in the Kremlin.

The planned exercise took place in the NationalCenter for State Defense Management of Russia. Combat training missions are being carried out by army control units of all levels as well as crews of strategic bombers, subsurface launch platforms of the Pacific Fleet and the Northern Fleet, combat units of strategic mobile ground missile platforms, missile and artillery troops of the Southern Military District and the Central Military District, the forces and assets involved in Russia’s air space and outer space defense system.

The Belarusian President remarked that the army control exercise of the Armed Forces of Russia is an indication that Russia has something to defend herself with, has something with which to strike those who want to warm up their hands here on the Russian territory and solve their problems. In his words, the exercise was important for Belarus because we saw the work of complexes in action.

The President of Belarus pointed out that Russia's military strength means the protection of the interests of Belarus. According to the Belarusian leader, the CSTO has solidarity obligations with the Russian Federation in the zone of the CSTO responsibility and joint exercises. "We should be together", Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

At the beginning of the informal meeting the Russian President said that the event is held in the run-up to Victory Day. He said that the nation paid a high prize for the victory. The country will always remember those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the Homeland, will honor their heroism, unity, solidarity in the fight against a common foe. According to Vladimir Putin, this is a strong uniting factor for all peoples of the former USSR.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the present Victory Day is different from previous ones because the deed of the great victory is unanimously and clearly recognized. “It is very important. Various attempts have been made to diminish the role of the Soviet people in this victory, our role, the role of our nations. The attempts even stooped so low as to blame us for launching this horrible disaster in the middle of the last century. Thanks to our unity we are not afraid of speaking about our victory. We clearly underline, everyone does, the significance of the victory. It is important because we saved the global civilization from destruction, we reduced the voices of our ill-wishers,” the Belarusian leader said. He added that it was particularly important because the younger generation should understand the value of the victory, should treasure it and believe in the victory.

The Belarusian President reminded that once upon a time while discussing dangerous challenges and phenomena in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the heads of state talked about Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and all of it seemed very distant at least for Belarus. “It turns out the world is so small and dynamic that this contagion spreads fast across the globe. Now these unacceptable phenomena are at the threshold of not only Tajikistan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia but Belarus, too,” the Belarusian leader said with reference to Ukraine.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that a lot had been said in this regard, however, time changes the approaches practiced by the CSTO states. In his words, events in Ukraine disallow sitting idly and gazing calmly at what is going on. The Belarusian head of state was particularly concerned about events in Odessa. “It brings us to bad parallels. And as I can see these parallels already exist. We remember the village of Khatyn. We remember hundreds of villages in Belarus burnt by the Nazi using the same approach,” the President of Belarus said.

“Such actions are unacceptable in any country. It would be even more unacceptable if we stare calmly at what is going on. It is particularly true for the Russian Federation and Belarus. Naturally we cannot but notice these things because people over there are no strangers for us and they call for help and demand response to such actions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“The situation in Ukraine is developing very fast. The absolutely inadequate response from, if we can say so, our Western partners is alarming. The way they respond to the events is astounding. They endorse and speak against the same actions in different situations. It is a wrong practice,” the Belarusian head of state believes.

“I wish the situation was as peaceful as diplomatic disputes. But people are dying and the global community should speak up in a consolidated manner, should use concrete criteria, which are evaluated univocally. Double standards must be ruled out,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.

The President of Belarus said that the current situation suggests that the decision to join the Collective Security Treaty Organization was the right one. Today neither Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, or Russia can live without thinking that these things happen somewhere far way,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko finds it symbolic that the meeting of the five heads of state is held in the run-up to Victory Day. "If something bad, God forbid, happens, we must be prepared to stand back to back, as the military people say, and defend our sovereignty and independence," the President of Belarus said. In his view, this is particularly important at a time when the West actually decided to escalate the tensions through the economy, finances, and attempts to impose economic sanctions.

“We have not resorted to the main tool in this situation. Our capabilities will increase manifold if we act together. We can overcome these sanctions. I am absolutely convinced that there is nothing to be afraid of,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the countries should use their internal potential in this situation. “It is complementary: if Russia is short of something, other countries can help. If other countries lack something, Russia can pitch in. Therefore, we should focus on the mobilization of internal reserves to overcome these obstacles, although they are not that dangerous,” the Belarusian President remarked. He also pointed out that Belarus has lived with sanctions for more than a decade. Belarus understands what sanctions mean and what they can evolve into.

“We will hold out in any situation,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, you must know that we will always support you. I say all that not because mass media representatives are here. We have no other choice but to be together. If we act separately we will get the same what is happening in Ukraine,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

At the meeting the five heads of state not only shared their views on the crisis in Ukraine, discussed urgent aspects of cooperation between the countries, touched upon the future of integration processes in the Eurasian space and considered joint efforts as part of the CSTO to ensure security of the states.

The bilateral meeting of presidents of Belarus and Russia took place later.

Aleksandr Lukashenko told Vladimir Putin that Belarus and Russia need to coordinate joint actions regarding Ukraine.

“I am not going to hide the fact that we are very tense about what is going on in Ukraine. We are not afraid of something. We are concerned about what is going on. Because Odessa’s events go beyond any limits,” the Belarusian leader remarked. He suggested talking about the situation in Ukraine and coordinating joint actions in private. “Because the crisis is not likely to end tomorrow and it directly affects both you and us,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Apart from that, the President of Belarus suggested discussing the matter of the so-called Western sanctions against Russia. “The attempt to put pressure on Russia naturally reflects on us. I am convinced that we should mobilize domestic reserves and we will multiply what we had without any gifts or promises from the West,” the Belarusian leader said.

The Belarusian President noted that the day before he had talked to Russian government officials. A lot of work had been done in association with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, vice premiers, and ministers for the sake of polishing some parts of the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty. Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested discussing the topic as well.

Vladimir Putin remarked that he would like to discuss the entire range of the bilateral relations including economy and the social sector as well as the joint steps of the two countries in the Customs Union and plans to create the Eurasian Economic Union.

The President of Russia thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for visiting Moscow on the eve of Victory Day. “I know that you are busy preparing for the celebration and the ice hockey world championship. A lot of things to do, nevertheless, you managed to find spare time to come here. It seems to me it is natural. As former components of the Soviet Union Russia and Belarus made a huge contribution and sacrificed a lot in the fight against Nazism. Therefore, it is only natural for the two nations to be together on these days,” he said.

The Belarusian President also congratulated Russians on the upcoming holiday.

“We truly were together back then and after that and are together now,” the Belarusian leader said. “You and I should consider the idea of Belarusians and Russians somehow demonstrating this unity. I think it will be fine if our troops take part in the Red Square parade”.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the Belarusian side always invites Russian troops for parades. “I think if you agree, we will consider the possibility and will demonstrate it one more time 70 years after our victory,” the President of Belarus noted.