KIEV, August 6. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has described Russian President Vladimir Putin as his elder brother.
"I regard Putin as my elder brother, and I sincerely believe that he is my brother," Lukashenko told Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon in a TV interview. "Not in the sense one in command as a senior and the other is junior. He is really like an elder brother in terms of age and [political] weight… An elder brother’s role is to help, support and advise. Not to make you stumble, but to provide support."
Lukashenko acknowledged that certain tensions in his relationship with Putin did exist.
"Yes, there are certain tensions, because both of us are persons of strong character, if you don’t mind my saying so," Lukashenko said.
He stressed that he had never experienced pressure from the Russian leader, though.
"He has never made attempts to put pressure on me. He’s been well aware that this would be totally useless," Lukashenko said. "I will always agree to compromise, but when it concerns the country, or if I see that it is not fair, it will be unacceptable to me."
Lukashenko said that although he also regarded Putin as his friend, some of their discussions might turn very emotional from time to time.
"We are very good friends despite the rifts that may occur. I hope that we remain friends in the sense that I am free to say everything that I believe must be said. Just as the other way round," Lukashenko said. "We may even drop a strong word in once in a while in a manly talk. But there has never been any yelling. I mind my manners in this respect, and Putin is not in the habit of every raising his voice at all."