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Working mood for dialogue

The situation in Ukraine obviously comes to the forefront in the dialogue with partners
By Vladimir Khromov

The situation in Ukraine obviously comes to the forefront in the dialogue with partners

Nikolay PatrushevIt primarily refers to the Russian Federation. The two countries have common defence interests, close economic ties with the southern neighbour and are simply concerned about the fate of our brothers. These issues are tackled during the meetings of presidents, as well as of those of lower rank. Therefore, it could be assumed that this topic would have become one of the central at the meeting between Alexander Lukashenko and the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev. The conversation took place before the consultations of state secretaries of the security councils. In this respect, the concurrence is important from the point of view of the assessment of the prospects of the development of the situation, and co-ordination of action plays a very important role here.

The President reminded about the shared outlook on the events both from Moscow and Minsk. He particularly paid attention, “Firstly, the West should not use Ukraine as a factor to exert pressure on Russia, and not only Russia, because the deterioration of the situation, including in economics, affects all countries of the entire post-Soviet space.”

The Ukrainian issue was naturally tackled at the recent meetings in Moscow, involving presidents of the CSTO member states. Mr. Lukashenko said that the heads of state also tackled the problems of the Central-Asian region, that there are enough of them and that we cannot ignore this.

Mr. Patrushev looked with optimism on the work in Minsk. After the Victory Day celebrations, the mood favoured a joint discussion of security topics. “We just need to agree, co-ordinate our plans and then fulfil them. We are already doing this,” he said.

Word for word

President of Belarus:

The main thing is that Ukraine should remain Ukraine, not a NATO base near our borders. We do not hide our concerns. It is important for Russia and Belarus. And, of course, we would like this close Slavic people to stay friends with us. We want to trade with them and we want to live peacefully with them. Our culture and languages are similar. We lived well. We want to continue to live like this.

But it is the choice of the Ukrainian people. They should arrange their lives the way they want, but they should not create problems for their neighbours. This is important.

Ukraine is already sobering up. Ukraine will not be with the West. It is not welcome there. The people of Ukraine would like to co-operate. The politicians have gotten some kind of ‘mental meltdown’. Sometimes it happens, you know. For us and for Russia this situation is dangerous only in terms of potential problems in the future.
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