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Closer partnership between Moscow and Minsk irks Washington — Russian embassy

According to the embassy, we paid attention to the statements by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price at a briefing on December 19

WASHINGTON, December 20. /TASS/. Closer cooperation between Russia and Belarus irks the United States which has been trying to isolate both countries, the Russian embassy in Washington said in a statement on Monday.

According to the embassy, "We paid attention to the statements by State Department Spokesperson Ned Price at a briefing on December 19. The official, among other things, went as far as to say that the words of [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin about the lack of interest of the Russian Federation to absorb anyone, should be perceived as `an extreme irony’. He then simply refocused the narrative back to the favorite topic of the Russian `invasion’ of Ukraine. Such statements by the official representative of the administration are de-facto interference in the internal affairs of the Union State."

"The comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Belarus has been tested by time and is based on the sincere friendship of the fraternal peoples of the two countries," Russian diplomats emphasized. "In conditions when we are under unprecedented pressure from the collective West led by the United States, the natural reaction is to further deepen partnership. Apparently, this development causes irritation in the United States, which does not abandon its attempts to isolate the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in the international arena," they added.

The United States still cannot or does not want "to admit that not all states are ready to live according to the fictitious `rules’ imposed by Washington. Hoping to maintain its dominant position, the US is trying to drive wedges into Russia's relations with its neighbors. Of course, this shall not be achieved under any circumstances," the Russian embassy concluded.

On Monday, the Russian head of state held talks with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko. The Russian delegation included Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Overchuk, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov, Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, and Roscosmos CEO Yury Borisov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. Following this, Washington introduced sweeping sanctions against Moscow. Restrictions were also imposed on Belarus, which, the United States said, supported the Russian operation.