Updated at 14:58,21-10-2016

Lukashenka: I am not Going to Bow and Crawl to European Union

26-11-2009, 15:37

The Belarusian president gave an interview to the Italian newspaper La Stampa ahead of the visit of the Italian Prime Minister.

"We are ready to give more to Europe than Europe to us. We are ready for this, we have such an opportunity. But we are not going to bow and crawl to the European Union," Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in the interview, extracts from which were shown on Belarusian TV channels.

"It is not the situation we rushed to the European Union shaking all over," Lukashenka said. "We offer you cooperation. If you are interested in the center of Europe, if you are interested in the Belarusian state, our problems, you are welcome here. We can also visit your country and cooperate. If you are not interested in this, no one can make you move in this direction. I understand it well. It’s not my first year of presidency. But I will represent my state in a worthy manner, like your prime minister Silvio Berlusconi does."

Lukashenka also noted that Belarus and Russia had "good relations". "There is no other state in the world with which Belarus has such a level of relationship. However, we have some problems," the Belarusian ruler said.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is to visit Belarus on November 30.