Lukashenka agreed to send Belarusians to defend Russia
The Belarusian president discussed the milk conflict, agreed to hold CSTO chairmanship and sign the agreement on the Collective Rapid Response Forces at an unofficial meeting with Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka told journalists after the meeting with Dmitry Medvedev on August 27 that he had never had such a sincere and frank conversation with the Russian president. The talks took more than three hours, BelaPAN reports referring to the press service of the Belarusian ruler.
"The period of our relations with Russia that we had will never repeat," the Belarusian president said.
"We feel great responsibility as never before, we feel that the Russians and Belarusians are practically one nation, we have nothing to divide, history placed everything in frames and we have to act in this context. I emphasize again: I don’t hope, I am convinced that we won’t have such sharp, unprofitable aggravations. Neither the Russians nor we win nothing from these aggravations," he said.
Lukashenka also confirmed that they spoke about oil duties, loans and the milk war during the meeting with Medvedev.
He said Russia would open a credit line for constructing a nuclear power plant in Belarus.
"We reached an agreement in principle that the Russian Federation would credit this project. We are discussing the final sum of the loan, we arranged that Russia would open the credit line in 2010," the Belarusian ruler said.
According to him, the infrastructure for the nuclear plant near Astravets (the Hrodna region) is being created. "We’ll start constriction activities from January 1, 2010," Lukashenka added.
"We also discussed the milk problems we had," Lukashenka noted. According to him, it is necessary to settle the issue regarding quotas to avoid any conflicts in the future. "There should not be quotas, duties or something else in our relations. We are forming the Customs Union. We should not have such problems at all," he thinks.
"We arranged that our governments would have negotiations in September to solve these problems. The Russian president promised this. So, the prime ministers will receive instructions today," Lukashenka said.
Lukashenka noted it as arranged during the meeting that the Russian president would visit Belarus in September during the joint Belarusian-Russian military exercises, which would be "the most large-scale in spite of the crisis".
"This is a Belarusian-Russian western grouping mainly consisting of the Belarusian army. The exercises will focus on operation of this grouping: how effective it is, how it can defend our western borders," Lukashenka said.
"He is to visit us in late November for the second time to attend the EurAsEC session. We’ll have the third meeting in early December at the session of the Supreme Council of the Union State in Moscow," Lukashenka added.
Lukashenka also said he was ready to head the CSTO and join the Collective Rapid Response Forces (CRRF).
"What to the CRRF, it is widely discussed today that Belarus and Uzbekistan are against the collective forces. But I reminded the president of Russia that the Russians and we had initiated this issue. Our experts took active part in working out issues on the Collective Rapid Response Forces. So, Belarus can’t but adopt this document," Lukashenka said.
The Belarusian president said: "I emphasize again, we have done a lot for the content, the sense of the document secondly, it is a framework contract; so, we have nothing to be afraid of."
According to him,"another complex issue regarding the CSTO is chairmanship of Belarus".
"Why should we refuse if we are offered this honourable mission? We haven’t hold chairmanship for 6 months, so we decided to take over this post for the next term. We will head the CSTO and we need to establish this process formally. We may compose an application for taking on the chairmanship. This matter is not a problem, it is a far-fetched issue," Lukashenka said.
Continuing the CSTO theme, the Belarusian president reminded that Belarus had signed an agreement with Russia on formatting joint air defense system.
"We have clear arrangements that the Belarusian air defence forces have main role on the western direction in the joint air defence system. The Belarusian air defence system needs modernization and support. If our army plays the main role in defending the western direction of the union state, it should be supported, first of all, with arms," Lukashenka said.
We remind that s the Agreement on CRRF creation was signed on June 14 in Moscow at the session of the Collective Security Council by five state leaders. The Belarusian delegation refused to take part in the summit due to the "milk war" with Russia. The president of Uzbekistan didn’t sign the agreement as well.
Independent experts say the CRRF is created to suppress rallies of democratic opposition in the member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.