The Kremlin has reacted to Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s emotional expressions during the meeting Thursday with the high-ranking government officials in charge of economy and trade. Lukashenka said that Russia, being under Western sanctions itself, chose to apply the same weapon against Minsk, a closest ally, undermining trade by continuously blocking the imports of foodstuffs and produce from Belarus.
“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.”
Russia and Belarus are yet to reach common understanding over several issues of commercial nature but work continues in this direction, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian state news agency Ria.ru.
"We definitely prefer the tone, which better corresponds to the allies’ nature of our relations. However, sometimes we treat with understanding some, let’s put it this way, emotional remarks, given a very special, very close and friendly nature of our bilateral relations."
At the same time, the Russian authorities do not agree with Lukashenka’s description of relations with Belarus as arms-twisting. “Russia is imposing no sanctions,” Peskov said.