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Lukashenko: Russia has no reason to fear Western sanctions

April 13, 2014, 21:06 UTC+3 MINSK

Belarusian President believed that the West had betrayed and cheated Ukraine

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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MINSK, April 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that sanctions against Russia could backfire, causing harm to Western countries. He also assumed that instead of giving real economic aid to Ukraine, the West was engaged in empty talk.

“I see that they have imposed (sanctions) against the heads of some companies, allegedly allied with (President Vladimir Putin). But tomorrow these companies will have different leaders who will be free to travel to the West. So, what’s the problem?” Lukashenko said in an interview with Russia’s NTV television channel on Sunday, the extracts of which have been published by the presidential press service.

“The Americans will continue pressing Europe more and more into these sanctions. But German Chancellor Angel Merkel and other leaders are not fools. They understand how dependent they are on contemporary Russia. They have a vast high-tech sector of economy which need resources, and these resources are in the East,” the Belarusian president said, expressing a conviction that Russia should not fear economic penalties.

Lukashenko believed that the West had betrayed and cheated Ukraine.

“What aid are they talking about? It has not gone farther than words so far. The United States, a country that had the leading role and played the first fiddle (in the Ukraine crisis) and which continues printing dollars, first offered field ratios for the army and then promised to give a billion dollars worth of aid. The International Monetary Fund has also pledged to give assistance. But you all know what the IMF conditions are?” the Belarusian president went on to say.

“They were wrong when they took their lead from the IMF and the West and started giving up their positions. We have republics that acted that way. But now they do not know what to do,” Lukashenkso said.

The Belarusian leader also voiced support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and spoke against federalization, which, in his view, would eventually destroy the Ukrainian state.

“If you want to preserve Ukraine as a single state, and I want to see Ukraine as an integral monolithic and unified state very much, we should not go ahead with federalization. It’s going to split the country in future and will eventually destroy the Ukrainian state,” Lukashenko told NTV.

“I do not even want to discuss this subject. I am categorically against federalization because I am for a single and unified Ukraine,” the Belarusian president stressed, noting it was dangerous to push Ukraine towards federalization.

“It is dangerous both for Belarus and Russia and the West. People there (in Ukraine) will never come to terms with that. Just never,” the Belarusian leader explained.

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