MOSCOW, July 1. /TASS/. Russia will keep providing fraternal Belarus with comprehensive support amid the challenging domestic political situation in that country and the external attempts to fuel tensions, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an online forum of Russian and Belarusian regions.
"We will continue providing our fraternal Belarusian people with comprehensive support in the current rather challenging domestic political situation in Belarus, amid the ongoing political and sanctions pressure and persistent attempts to rock the boat from overseas," Putin stressed.
Putin vowed that Russia would further support its "Belarusian friends in countering sanctions-related restrictions, recently imposed by the EU." "We believe that the ban on the supplies of some Belarusian goods to the EU countries harms interests of businesses and people," he noted.
According to the Russian president, those who impose such restrictions should better think about this. "[This creates obstacles] for ordinary people, including in the European countries," he noted.
The Russian president also said that "Belarus remains not just a good neighbor for Russia but also its closest ally."
"Let me stress again: Belarus is not just a good neighbor. It is, first and foremost, our closest ally," the Russian leader said.
The relations between the two countries "are based on the principles of mutual respect, support and the regard for the interests of each other," Putin pointed out.
The Russian leader greeted all the forum’s participants, noting that the event was being held via a video link again due to the pandemic.
"But it is important that such meetings of representatives of regional and local bodies of power, the business community, educational, scientific and cultural figures are regular and provide an opportunity to discuss the most essential issues of Russian-Belarusian interaction in politics, the economy and the humanitarian sphere and map out joint projects between regions of Russia and the Republic of Belarus," Putin said.
The Russian leader also spoke about the discussions already held at the forum, the plans and decisions that had been adopted.
All this "will be useful for further developing inter-regional ties that are a key component of the entire range of the Russian-Belarusian strategic partnership," Putin stressed.