Updated at 11:30,08-12-2016

Lukashenka: European Union waiting for change of regime to resume relations

The European Union is not ready to normalize relations with Belarus as long as the current regime exists in the country and objects to sweeping privatization, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said Tuesday in Minsk while meeting with members of the Club of Chief Editors of post-Soviet countries.

"You [the European Union] will establish relations with us only after Lukashenka is gone, when a new political system is in place and when everything is put up for sale, preferably, for selling to the West. Believe me, I have enough information on these matters," the belarusian leader said.

"Many EU countries and the EU in general are considered to be a stronghold of democracy, so advanced in human rights," he said. "You blame us for violating these rights. But in recent times we have not killed a single person inside or outside our country in violation of human rights. But you, I mean the EU, destroy entire states. Why did you get into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other states? Did you make things better there? You killed thousands of people there! Does it have anything to do with human rights?"

The EU’s interference in the internal affairs of those countries did not yield positive results and therefore "when EU politicians try to teach us to respect human rights, this leads to total rejection," Mr. Lukashenka said.

"I am an old politician," he said. "I have been involved in many events. We maintained good relations with the countries I have mentioned. I am very well familiar with the leaders of those countries. For example, Bashar al-Assad. If he were here and if you talked to him, you would say that he is an extremely cultured man."

As Mr. Lukashenka said, he saw with his own eyes the double standards and insincerity of European politicians following Belarus’ presidential election in 2010, who, according to him, promised "mountains of gold" in exchange for fulfilling certain conditions. "Their major accusation was that we detained people [following a post-election protest in Minsk on December 19, 2010], but we don’t poison them with tear gas and don't shoot rubber bullets at them," he said. "We have never even used water canons against illegal demonstrations. We have never done that, but you don’t want to see that."

Mr. Lukashenka expressed hope that "common sense will prevail someday" and the relationship between Belarus and the European Union would get back to normal.