Lukashenko: Russia is Belarus' most important foreign political, economic partner

Print version
Sept. 10, 2012, 4:35 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko during their meeting in Minsk on July 18, 2012.

MINSK - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has reaffirmed the course towards strategic partnership with Russia.

"The Russian Federation is the most important foreign political and foreign economic partner. I hope very much that you will be a worthy representative of Belarusian state interests in the Russian Federation," Lukashenko told Igor Petrishenko, whom he appointed as the Belarusian Ambassador to Russia on Monday, Sept.10.

"I want you to understand that the Ambassador to the Russian Federation, same as the Ambassador to Venezuela and other prime regions, is more than just an ambassador," he said.

Apart from being the ambassador, Petrishenko will represent Belarus at various integration structures, Lukashenko said. "These include politics, economy, military-technical and defense cooperation of our countries," he noted.

"It would be pointless to have a separate man for each of these areas, because the work scale is not that big," he said. In his words, the foreign minister and the presidential administration head "will soon propose cuts of redundant personnel."

"We have about 200 representatives but only 50 of them are working. So, we will optimize the structure soon," he said.

Lukashenko did not rule out that the policy might change for Russia due to the active development of integration processes. "In fact, we have much work here. Integration has not just resumed; it is very active due to the Russian side striving for integration. If necessary, we will be ready to reconsider the policy by your suggestion," he told the new ambassador.

Before being appointed the ambassador on Monday, Petrishenko had been the First Deputy Foreign Minister.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.