MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Moscow doesn’t think that Minsk has withdrawn its statements on constitutional reform, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday in an interview with TASS, answering the question whether Russia is alarmed that statements on constitutional reform have been voiced more and more seldom by Belarus.
"I think nobody went back on anybody’s word. At least, I haven’t seen it yet," she said.
The spokeswoman stressed that it is unacceptable to interfere in the internal affairs of Belarus and to point out to the country’s residents what needs to be done. "A lot is going on these days around Belarus but the most important thing is to let Belarusian people, Belarus as a state, go through this rather difficult period on their own, to sort it out and to make decisions," she continued. "Moreover, the appropriate statements on the necessity of reforms were made, they were supported by Russian representatives information-wise as well when they were asked this question. Even in this studio [Russian Foreign Minister] Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov was deliberating on this topic," she added.
Earlier Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko proposed to introduce changes to the constitution in order to redistribute the powers of authorities at various levels and relegate a portion of powers "down." He also proposed to include in the fundamental document the compulsory requirement of prior military service for presidential candidates. According to him, the new constitution should be approved at a referendum. After the constitution is adopted, Lukashenko doesn’t exclude the possibility of conducting presidential election ahead of schedule. Dates of the reform have not been announced yet.