MINSK, April 9 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarus and Russia must not allow a split between the two fraternal peoples and states despite trade and economic disagreements, President Alexander Lukashenko said after an Easter service at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk on Sunday.

Last year "was not easy for us, as we had a severe disagreement with our closest partner. The Belarussian economy experienced a major blow," he said.

"However, we must stay together forever no matter what they want on either side of the barricades," Lukashenko said. "There are enough threats, and we have always responded to them together. We felt the threats in less than two months, and Russia understood that it would be very hard to fight them without Belarus."

Lukashenko confirmed his full control over Belarus. "The president has a firm position and he is in control. Somebody wants him to stagger, but that won't happen. God will support our fair wish for an honest and decent living," he said.