Updated at 16:28,13-05-2019

Lukashenka congratulates Trump

Dmitry Ulasaw, Naviny.by

Lukashenka congratulates Trump
Alyaksandr Lukashenka on Wednesday sent a message of greetings to Donald John Trump on his election as president of the United States.

“Your victory shows that the American people have made their choice in favor of a policy based on honesty, responsibility and search for change,” the Belarusian leader said in his message, according to the presidential press office. “Your active, sincere and courageous position during the election campaign stirred up American society and returned it to true democracy.”

Belarus has always advocated the need for constructive cooperation with the United States and “I hope that under your leadership, efforts will continue to be made to normalize the relations between our countries,” Mr. Lukashenka said.

He wished Mr. Trump good health, energy and persistence in fulfilling his election promises.

In 2012, Mr. Lukashenka chose not to congratulate Barack Obama on his reelection as U.S. president.

In 2008, the Belarusian leader congratulated Mr. Obama on his election victory, but the U.S. president failed to congratulate Mr. Lukashenka on his reelection in 2010, Pavel Lyohki, the then head of the presidential press office, said four years ago.

“The White House tenant refrained from congratulations,” Mr. Lyohki said. “There is a principle of reciprocity in diplomacy, which implies a reciprocal reaction.”

While meeting with students and faculty at a university in Minsk in November 2012, Mr. Lukashenka said: “There were 23 or 25 presidential candidates in America. Do you know them? You only heard of Obama and Romney, didn’t you? The rest were thrown into prison for a mere attempt at disputing with these two whales. This is what their democracy is all about. And yet they come to our country and, with their sleeves rolled up, try to impose their own rules on us and teach us. They should not do that, we will conduct elections ourselves.”

Mr. Lukashenka congratulated George on his election victory in 2000 but did not do so four years later, when Mr. Bush was reelected for a new term. Two weeks before his reelection, Mr. Bush signed into law the Belarus Democracy Act, which he said “demonstrates America's deep concern over events in Belarus and a commitment to sustain those Belarusians who must labor in the shadows to return freedom to their country."

"At a time when freedom is advancing around the world, Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his government are turning Belarus into a regime of repression in the heart of Europe, its government isolated from its neighbors and its people isolated from each other,” Mr. Bush said in a statement after signing the legislation into law.