Belarus treasures partnership and friendly mutual relations with all countries and rejects dictate. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he accepted credentials from ambassadors of nine nations on 20 February.
The head of state accepted credentials from ambassadors of China and Israel. He also received credentials from ambassadors of Argentina, Luxembourg, Ethiopia, and Japan who work in Russia with concurrent accreditation to Belarus.
Moreover, partaking in the ceremony were the ambassador of Norway to Ukraine with concurrent accreditation to Belarus, the ambassador of San Marino with the residence in San Marino, and the apostolic nuncio to Belarus.
“We believe that regardless of territory or economic potential every country has the right to independently determine its way of development and of building relations with the outside world on an equal and fair basis,” the Belarusian head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus persistently implements principles of a multiple vectors policy and balance in the international arena. “We treasure partnership and friendly mutual relations with all countries and reject dictate,” the head of state said.
According to the President, today’s Belarus is a young, open and dynamically developing country. “We orderly and consistently develop and enhance the state and its sovereignty, improving living standards, ensuring social stability and accord,” the Belarusian leader said.
When accepting credentials from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to Belarus Gong Jianwei the President confirmed eagerness of Belarus to further enhance strategic partnership with China.
Alexander Lukashenko said the Belarusian-Chinese relations are characterized by a political dialogue of trust at the top level, rapidly developing trade and investment relations.
Alexander Lukashenko believes that the launch of a communication satellite and the creation of the Belarusian-Chinese industrial park herald the beginning of a full-scale use of interstate cooperation potential.
“We have absolutely no tension in relations with China. Someone may have tension regarding Belarusian-Chinese relations but it is their concern. We are friends with China not for the sake of friendship against someone but for the sake of cooperation in the interest of our states,” the Belarusian President said.
“You must understand that there is a land where the Chinese are always welcome. We will always welcome you here regardless of any reproaches and admonitions because your leader has always supported us in time of need and we remember it,” the Belarusian head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus will always be a good pillar for the Chinese nation and the country. The President thanked the Chinese side for everything it is doing and has done for Belarus. “We have learned a lot from you,” Alexander Lukashenko added.
A unique interfaith accord in Belarus creates the basis for a sincere dialogue with Vatican across all topical areas, the President of Belarus said as he received credentials from Apostolic Nuncio to Belarus Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized that the relations with the Holy See are of a particular importance for Belarus, because Christian moral values are fundamental for the Belarusian culture and traditions.
“We hold similar views on promotion of peace and understanding between peoples, equality of states, support for traditional religions,” the President said.
“A unique interfaith accord in Belarus is a firm link between our countries and the basis for a candid dialogue across all topical issues,” the Belarusian head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko gave best regards to Pope Benedict XVI.
Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti noted that his major goal is to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. “First of all this means a great respect for the Belarusian people who have suffered a lot during their history, but the terrible ordeals made them even stronger and more powerful,” he said.
When accepting credentials from ambassadors of Luxembourg Norway, Luxembourg and San Marino, Alexander Lukashenko remarked that the comprehensive development of relations with European partners is the natural area of Belarus’ foreign policy.
“Belarus is ready to make fuller use of the potential of cooperation with your countries, primarily in trade, economic and investment areas. We are interested in attracting advanced technologies and capital to upgrade the economy,” the head of state said.
Alexander Lukashenko also stressed that Belarus aims to develop political dialogue in the name of stability, security and sustainable development of a common European home. “But only on an equal footing,” he added.
“If someone in Europe thinks that they can still bend us by some sanctions, reproaches and demands, it is a way to nowhere. Even if we are left alone without Russia, China, without other friends of ours, trust me we will stand our ground just the way we did in 1941-1945 defending our sovereignty and independence,” Alexander Lukashenko told the representatives of European nations. “It is not some kind of bravura. We just want to be like you – freedom-loving, independent and answerable to our people. We are guided by desires of our nation.”
The head of state remarked, Belarus creates problems neither for neighbors nor for non-CIS states. “I don’t understand why anyone would complain. We see that someone may not like what we are doing here, we may not like some things, too. But we don’t attack anyone and we don’t try to lecture anyone. Every country has the right to develop the way it thinks right, avoiding creating problems for neighbors and other countries,” Alexander Lukashenko said .
In his words, Belarus is as democratic as European countries. “Take a closer look at what is going on in Belarus. We want peace and stability,” remarked the President. Addressing Ambassador of Norway Jon Elvedal Fredriksen, the President of Belarus reminded that the two countries suffered terrible tragedies in 2011. “We know the price for stability. And we want to preserve stability whatever the cost,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
“You must understand we choose to tolerate the sanctions you are waving before us for now. But once you cross the line, we will retaliate,” the President said.
“We are in the center of Europe. 100 million tonnes of freight is shipped via Belarus from the East to the West, totally secure. We build terminals at the border, we pass your cargoes back and forth, keeping them secure. There have been no complaints in the years I am the president,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “What else Europeans need? Do they need unstable Belarus? They don’t. You don’t like Lukashenko and the policy he pursues? We will not abandon the policy as long as I get elected the president. If the people vote for the president, they support his policy. My policy is devotion to my people”.
“I just urge Europeans to take a closer look at our country and to avoid doing bad things against Belarus. We didn’t deserve it. We haven’t even restored the pre-war population level. We sacrificed three million people for the sake of our common victory. What would have happened if we failed back then?” wondered the President. “Therefore, you should respect people because those, who saw the terrible war, are still alive in Belarus”.
“Our stance is not based on some kind of personal ambitions. We don’t need that. It is based on deep-rooted reasons that originate in our society, our Belarusian nation,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
“And we have many friends these days. It is useless to torpedo our relations with Europe, trying to restrain, to offend and punish us somehow. Cooperation with Russia, China, India, and Central Asia is more than sufficient for our country. We will enable a normal life for our people. But we don’t want to be a headache for Europeans because the center of Europe is here,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
When accepting credentials from Ambassador of Israel to Belarus Yosef Shagal, the President said that Israel occupies a special place in the foreign policy of Belarus. “Hundreds of thousands of emigrants from Belarus and their descendants live there. It is very pleasant that they have warm feelings towards the Belarusian nation. In turn, we treat them as our people. This priceless human capital cements Belarusian-Israeli ties,” said the head of state. He also approved of the Israel ambassador’s initiatives aimed at further enhancement of interstate relations. “Our country is open to building up investment, scientific and technical cooperation with Israel as a world leader in high-tech manufacturing,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The President of Belarus thanked the Israeli ambassador for his attitude towards Belarus. “I strongly hope that even despite tight allied ties [of Israel] with some countries Belarus will occupy a special place not only in your heart as an ambassador. I’ve heard your interview with a Belarusian TV company. I am ready to back virtually everything you said. The general idea and the stance deserve respect. It seems to me that we will have an ambassador of Israel in Belarus with a special stance,” Alexander Lukashenko told Yosef Shagal.
According to the President, the appointment of ambassadors of Japan to Belarus marks an important stage in the development of bilateral relations. “So far our cooperation was focused mainly on the humanitarian sphere. We are interested in its further deepening,” the President said when receiving the credentials from Ambassador of Japan Chikahito Harada.
“We are ready for more serious cooperation with Japan. You are welcome here. But somehow you do not see and do not hear that you are welcome here, with your technology, your experience. It is high time we realized the potential in economic, scientific, and technical areas,” the Belarusian leader said.
Construction of the plant to produce Japanese cars is one of the interesting projects that could be implemented, Alexander Lukashenko said. “We will provide the most preferential terms. You can produce your cars here and sell them in the single customs space, in Europe. We will do our best while working with you. In fact, there are a lot of projects we can implement. The conditions we will create for you here will be even better than the ones that exist in Japan for its producers,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The head of state also invites Japan to cooperate in nuclear energy. “If you decide to build a nuclear power plant, Belarus should be your first choice," the President said.
The head of state stressed that Belarus is prepared to share its experience in dealing with the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster, receive Japanese children from the regions affected by the Fukushima accident for recuperation. “You were among the first to offer us help after the Chernobyl disaster. Now the tragedy came to your land, and we are ready to share this experience for the benefit of our peoples and states,” the President noted .
Belarus would like to establish closest cooperation with Argentina, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said as he received the credentials from Argentine Ambassador Juan Carlos Kreckler.
According to the President, Argentina is among Belarus’ leading partners in Latin America. “Despite the increase in the bilateral trade in recent years, Belarus and Argentina do not exploit their cooperation potential in full. Our countries will greatly benefit from diversification of the bilateral trade and long-term projects in industry and the scientific and technical sector,” the head of state said.
The head of state asked the diplomat to wish the President of Argentina fortitude and well-being on his behalf. “I really hope that we will be able to expand the political cooperation with your state, as well. We would really like to establish closest cooperation with your country,” the President of Belarus said.
When receiving credentials from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to Belarus Kasahun Dender Melese, the president said that Ethiopia is a traditional political, trade and economic partner of Belarus in Africa. “We are ready for significant increase in the production of our goods in your country, further development of industrial cooperation and for joint advancement to the markets of the other countries of the region,” the President said.
“I think that we will meet in Ethiopia in the nearest future. We should recollect everything good that was in the past. Our relations have a history but we should look in the future. We are ready to create a Belarusian "island" on the Ethiopian land and work together on the African market,” the head of state said.
“I do not doubt that you will be able to see our country in an unbiased and objective way and to realize that Belarus is not only a reliable and predictable partner, but also a true friend ready to lend its shoulder in a difficult time,” the President told the diplomats.
“I urge you to build not simply mutually beneficial, but also truly sincere and reliable relations between our countries. This will guarantee the success of your mission here,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The President pledged utmost assistance to the diplomats.
“I am convinced that as you learn more about our country, its rich history, culture, and traditions, you will become sincere friends of the Belarusian people, the supporters of mutually beneficial cooperation, an equitable and respectful dialogue,” the Belarusian head of state said. Alexander Lukashenko expressed hope that the work of each of the diplomats will make an appreciable contribution to strengthening the bilateral relations, bringing the countries closer and expanding cooperation across all the fields.