Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Kremlin official accuses Minsk of using anti-Russian rhetoric to disguise economic mistakes

Sergei Naryshkin, head of the Russian presidential administration, has accused Minsk of attempting to disguise "mistakes" in its economic policy with anti-Russian rhetoric, and refusing to note substantial assistance provided by the neighboring country.

The Belarusian leadership attempts to point the finger of blame at Russias allegedly unfriendly steps when explaining its mistakes in the social and economic spheres to voters, Mr. Naryshkin told a group of Belarusian journalists in the Kremlin on October 13.

But the assistance that Russia has provided to Belarus in the last 10 years as part of their Union Sate is enough to question the allegation, he said.

Funds donated by Russia to Belarus through discounted energy deliveries totaled "$50 billion" in the period, Mr. Naryshkin stressed.

The Kremlin "sincerely" would like the Belarusian leadership to focus its attention on attempts to "strengthen friendly relations with Russia and restore the atmosphere of trust," he said.

The official said that there had been a number of reasons behind the Kremlins decision to invite the Belarusian journalists for a talk. Above all, it was prompted by its concern about the current state of bilateral relations, he said.

"We have always viewed Belarus as the most reliable and loyal partner and ally," he said. "What is important is to ensure that the cooperation is based on the principles of equality and partnership. I am sure that this is in the interests of both nations."