“We are going through difficult times, let us be sincere. We will cope with these problems, but the Commonwealth, even if it is not the way we wanted it to be or that we seek, must not be destroyed,” the president said at talks with the head of the CIS Executive Committee, Sergei Lebedev.
“We must work, and if Ukraine cannot be its president for certain reasons, we will take on this responsibility as the state where the headquarters of the Commonwealth are situated,” Lukashenko said.
Lebedev, for his part, expressed gratitude to Minsk for its readiness to once again assume the CIS chairmanship instead of Kiev and host some forums that were initially planned in Ukraine.
“I am deeply confident as well as the CIS member countries, that the Belarusian presidency of the CIS for a second year running will be successful,” Lebedev said.
He said an agreement had been reached that mid-October would be the most convenient time for a gathering of the CIS heads of state. Prior to that, a CIS foreign ministerial session will be held in the Belarusian capital. “We also have to move from Ukraine to Minsk sessions of a number of sectorial councils,” he noted.