ST. PETERSBURG, July 13. /TASS/. Belarus has managed to preserve all traditional economic and cooperation links with Russia, which help it to hold on amid Western sanctions, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Our economy is seriously tied to the Russian economy <…>, we have preserved many cooperation relations with Russia. We did not embark on a path chosen by other republics, especially our southern neighbor. We did not sever ties," he said. "We are working on our markets, as we have always been, and thanks to it, we have not broken these ties. We are managing to keep the economy running in this very difficult time," he stressed.
According to the Belarusian leader, his country has managed to preserve its industrial sector and even boost some sectors thanks to Russia’s investments. "It is pleasing that our trade is on the rise despite any <…> ‘viruses’ <…> against Belarus and Russia from outside," he said.
He noted that although Minsk was taking measures to diversify its foreign trade, ties with the West had never played a key role in the country’s economy. "Indeed, being hit by another wave <…> of sanctions, we are getting diversified, adjusting our relations with the West. But we have never had a high level of trade with them, especially with the European Union," he added.