"100% dependence on energy resources. 85% of Belarus energy run on Russian gas. All the oil refineries and petrochemicals run on Russian sources", in this way Russian Ambassador to Belarus Aleksander Surikov answered the question how much the Belarusian economy depends on Moscow.
"The lion's share of mechanical engineering is cooperational. Plus, the commodity market is Russian. We are economically intertwined since the times of the Soviet Union", the diplomat noted.
He also expressed his opinion, why Aleksander Lukashenka has an awkward relationship with the West.
"The West demands from him: Give us our level of democratization, human rights, liberalization of the electoral law with freedom of the media, etc. That is - give away your power. And what you will have then - we do not know. But this has been already in Belarus in the early 1990s, when the whole industry stopped, the salary was about $10. At those times it was complete democratization of the country", Aleksander Surikov said in an interview with altapress.ru.
The diplomat spoke in details about the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan.
"We are building a union state. Neither the establishment of the Customs Union, nor the single economic space don't supersede our bilateral relations. There are critical issues on which we cannot deal. For example, with regard to decision-making in the supranational institutions. In interstate associations the position "one country - one vote" is spread. But we have very different countries - in terms of population, by territory, in terms of production, Russia is the nuclear power state. Well, how come one nation - one vote? We haven't reached an agreement on a supra-national functions, that could be devolved on the emerging authorities. There are contradictions on economic issues also. Belarus requests equal prices for gas. Russia responds: Yes, we exist as a unified state, but de jure these relationships are not formed, our union is not subject to international law. Why gas prices for Belarus must be equal to Russian domestic prices? This from the part of Aleksander Lukashenka evoked certain emotions", Surikov said.