Russia intentionally avoided raising the issue of energy supplies to Belarus past spring, because Alexander Lukashenko was facing re-elections then, President Vladimir Putin told reporters at the news conference held in the Kremlin today.
After the collapse of the former Soviet Union, not only the independence was granted to its former republics but Russia was also strengthening that independence for 15 years by subsidized supplies of energy, Putin said.
When it comes to Belarus, "we didn't want to cause damage to the current president past year because of forthcoming political events: including and first of all, the elections. We didn't want to create any problems, the tension there," Putin specified.
Belarus held presidential elections March 16, 2006. Today's president of the country, Alexander Lukashenko, was re-elected by overwhelming majority.