Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has promised to normalize relations with Russia.
"We cannot break up with Russia. We will never cooperate as closely as we do with Russia with anyone else," he said at the fourth meeting of the Belarusian People's Assembly on Monday.
"We will normalize relations. The relations will normalize the way they deteriorated," he said.
He said there must be no conjectures that Belarus-Russia relations "had been damaged eternally."
"We were hit on the head and barred from the Russian market. We must be grateful to the European Union, which did not do the same. At present we have bigger trade with the EU than with Russia," he said.
"It is not that we turn our back on Russia, as Russia is a natural ally. Our trade amounts to many billions. We go to Russia as we go home, because there are no visas, no barriers, no obstacles. These achievements cannot be lost. The Union State project cannot be buried either," Lukashenko said.
"The Russian authorities have been building some other relationship model lately, and this policy needs strategic consideration," he said. "In the past days and weeks Russia has started to think over what has been done."