Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that he would meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 7th.
“Most likely, on February 7 we will meet with President Putin. A moment of truth has come. We were the initiators of these relations, and we could be the ones to break them,” he told reporters.
Earlier, the Kremlin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that contacts with Lukashenko were not planned in the near future, but the leaders of the two countries could quickly meet if it were needed.
The presidents of Russia and Belarus last met at the end of last year. Then Lukashenko said that “there were a couple of problems” that need to be resolved at the highest level. And it primarily relates to oil supplies. Minsk and Moscow cannot yet agree on prices for oil supplies to Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly stated the search for alternative sources. In particular, he said that Minsk could begin to receive American or Saudi oil through Poland via the Druzhba trunk pipeline.
At the same time, the Polish pipe operator PERN said that it was not technically possible to transport oil while maintaining supplies to its refineries.
Lukashenko’s announcement of a potential meeting came on the day after he met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Minsk. This marked the first time in 25 years that a US Secretary of State has visited Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that the period of “cold” in the relations between Belarus and the USA was over.
Lukashenko said he does not understand the concerns of the Russian Federation regarding the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Minsk, because in the republic they rejoice when Russians and Americans “hug and kiss.”
“Russia has taken care of it. And what, have we done more with America than with Russia? You look: they try to kiss them passionately. It’s impossible, really. Are we worried? We rejoice for them when they hug and kiss. Here is the whole some scandal was raised: oh, the secretary of state arrived,” he said.
He emphasized the right of Belarus as a sovereign country to pursue an independent foreign policy, including building close relations with the United States. “Or did we harm Russia with this? No,” Lukashenko said.
The President noted that he would not call the Americans “great friends” of Belarus.
“But the period of this cold, when we looked at each other through some embrasure, a reinforced concrete thick wall, is over. And no one needs to moan, worry and sob,” Lukashenko said. He emphasized that Belarus is establishing relations with “the greatest empire – the leading country in the world.”
He also talked about close contacts with Pompeo when he was still the head of the CIA.
“If we declassify all the materials, the world will applaud us. Pompeo and I, when he was the director of the CIA, carried out serious operations here. They contacted us, gave us information. We detained people here at the border with nuclear materials. And we detained them without their help. And this was the number one issue for them,” Lukashenko said.
Regarding Russia, Lukashenko added that he would like “the most warm, kind and friendly relations with the fraternal people”, but Russia did not transfer Belarus to domestic Russian energy prices, although it allegedly promised to do so, when it bought Beltransgaz.
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