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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko evaluated the operation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and noted with regret that the commonwealth is losing its meaning as a platform for the resolution of important issues in an interview with the TV and Radio Company Mir, BelTA informs.
“National egoism, as Putin says, has got the best of everybody, including Russia, in recent time,” the Belarusian leader said. “We are virtually torn apart.”
“Countries of Central Asia, no matter how much we boast and rejoice, are now looking at strong China. This country helps a lot and behaves in a polite and decent fashion,” the president continued. “China can help through investments and is helping with millions of dollars.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the CIS platform is generally used for meetings of the presidents, for adopting statements. “Yes, there is a kind of a free trade zone. But you know what freedom we have here – with exemptions, even in the EAEU, let alone the CIS. What is left? Not a whole lot,” the head of state remarked.
As for the possibility of Ukraine's returning to work in the CIS, the Belarusian president believes it is quite unlikely in the near future. “In our time, Volodya, [Director of the Office of the Interstate TV and Radio Company Mir in Belarus Vladimir Pertsov] it is impossible,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told the interviewer. “Ukraine will not return to the CIS in this period.”
According to the Belarusian head of state, Ukraine is interested in the rapprochement with the European Union, NATO, and the United States, and it will be difficult to change the situation. “The main thing is that today there are no trends of turning to our unions in Ukraine. Moreover, they see what is going on in these unions, including in the union of Belarus and Russia. Many people tell me: if you, Belarusians and Russians, two peoples with almost the same roots, cannot do it, why should we do it. This especially pertains to Muslim countries. And Ukrainian politicians are thinking the same way,” the president remarked.
“They have already cast in their lot with a different vector. It will be difficult to turn to the other side,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added. “Perhaps, something will happen over time. But in the relations with Ukraine time is not working for us – not for Russia and Belarus. In all likelihood, time is working for that side.”