Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on Alyaksandr Lukashenka to restrain himself from making harsh remarks "beyond political diplomacy" about Russian government officials.
While meeting Monday with a group of Belarusian journalists at his Barvikha residence outside Moscow, Mr. Medvedev said that the Belarusian leader had recently made quite a number of such remarks about the Russian prime minister and other officials. "I absolutely don’t like it," Mr. Medvedev said. "It is a dead-end path."
A political discourse should take place in a correct manner, the Russian leader stressed.
When asked to comment on what seem to be strained relations between Mr. Lukashenka and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and their impact on cooperation between the two countries, Mr. Medvedev said: "Alyaksandr Ryhoravich and Vladimir Vladimirovich have always maintained normal partnership relations, but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t have any disputes."
He said that he also had "normal partnership relations" with Mr. Lukashenka. "A different thing is that one should treat a partner with respect and try to hear him," he noted.
Mr. Medvedev said that "there is no shortage of communication" between him and the Belarusian leader. "We will surely talk to each other" during a summit of the Eurasian Economic Community to be held in Minsk later this month, he said.
This past June, Mr. Medvedev also warned the Belarusian leader against making impolite remarks about Russian government officials. He said that "from the viewpoint of diplomatic ethics," they were inadmissible for the "leader of one of the states that are the closest partners of Russia."
In a strong-worded speech in May, Mr. Lukashenka accused Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin of attempting to "sow panic" in Belarus and siding with his political opponents in Belarus, whom he called "our thugs."