Lukashenka slams Russia over trade sanctions

Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka on Thursday emotionally criticized Russia as he met with the government officials in charge of economy and trade, reports

Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance also known as Rosselkhoznadzor routinely introduces sanctions against Belarusian enterprises and foodstuffs. In the latest development, Russia said it would ban the imports of pears and apples from Belarus effective from this coming Friday.

During today’s meeting, Lukashenka admitted he was outraged to learn that the ‘trade partner’ introduces fresh sanctions almost every day.

“They have been under sanctions themselves and they have condemned them. I totally support them on this. At the same time, they use the same weapon to fight their closest allies,” Aliaksandr Lukashenka said.

The Belarus president concluded that Russia was simply shutting its market for Belarus. He noted that Belarus tried not to damage Russia’s interests even when the West-bound oil pipeline in Belarus had to be repaired but it was not done.

Today, Lukashenka made it clear how Belarus is going to respond. “If we need to overhaul the pipelines going through Belarus, go ahead and repair them,” he told Belarusian Vice Prime Minister Ihar Lyashenka. “Apparently, the good we are doing for the Russian Federation returns as permanent harm. They even have the audacity of starting to twist our arms.”

Lukashenka expects the government to report on the implementation of his orders next week. “They keep slapping us on one cheek, and we keep turning the other cheek. Time has come to respond with appropriate measures,” the Belarus president stressed.