Meeting with outgoing Russian Ambassador Alexander Surikov

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Interests of Belarus and Russia never contradict each other, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with outgoing Russian Ambassador Alexander Surikov.

“I understand perfectly well what an ambassador is. He cannot act on his own because he represents the point of view of the country's government, notably the President. However, being a Russian, a man who lived in the Soviet Union, Alexander Alexandrovich has never viewed Belarus as a strange land. I liked that very much, and I appreciate it very much,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“I know the official point of view of the Russian Ambassador to Belarus and I know his inner state when he talks about the Russians, Belarusians. I think our positions are the same here. Russians and Belarusians are the peoples having the same roots, the peoples of the same tree,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

In his words, interests of Belarus and Russia may be different but they have never been contrary to each other. “Russia is a guardian angel for Belarus. The same is true about Belarus in respect to Russia. The size of the territory does not matter here,” the head of state said.

The President thanked the Russian diplomat for his work in Belarus and his efforts to strengthen the relations between the two countries. “You mission here will go down in history as a milestone event. I hope that ambassadors that are yet to come will be able to do as much as Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belarus Alexander Surikov did. I will only happy to see this happen,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state added that before the meeting he had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in furtherance of the agreements reached in Sochi last week. The parties agreed on a provisional date of the meeting involving members of the government. The work of the Russian Ambassador to Belarus was also discussed during the phone conversation. “I informed the Russian President that I am meeting with Alexander Surikov, expressed my view of his work. The Russian President said that he was happy with the high assessment of the work of the Ambassador who has worked in the post for more than ten years. Of course, this is unprecedented,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Alexander Surikov noted that he worked in Belarus for 12 and a half years. This is a half of the period of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Probably I have set a record of sorts among Russian ambassadors to Belarus, or even in the CIS. I am very grateful to you, first of all, for the conceptually correct assessment of our relations. During this period, thanks to you, Vladimir Vladimirovich, and our embassies we have done a great job, although not avoiding minor hiccups, to bring the peoples of Russia and Belarus closer,” the diplomat said.

During the meeting, the Belarusian President gave the Russian Ambassador presents, among them was a wood-carved map of Belarus.