Belarus not to choose between EU and Russia -- Lukashenko

MINSK, December 6 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko aid his country would never choose between the European Union and Russia. "This would be improper and wrong. We have out own place in Europe," he said at the All-Belarusian National Congress on Monday, December 6.

He stressed that Belarus could not blindly follow recommendations given by the West or the East and would proceed from its own needs, with no detriment to the interests of its neighbours and partners.

In the past, Belarus leaned to one side only due to certain historical factors, but now it is diversifying its foreign policy. "There are particularly many missed opportunities in the European direction and the time has come to tap the potential of cooperation with the EU," the president said.

The EU is the main consumer of Belarusian products and the source of investments. "Our contacts with the EU leadership and EU member countries show that a constructive and confidential, albeit complex, dialogue can break stereotypes. We count on the pragmatism and common sense of Brussels' approach to Minsk," Lukashenko said.

"But this does not mean we are drifting away from Russia. There is no doubt, Russia is our natural ally," he aid.


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