Belarus and Armenia are close peoples, and will remain so, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Armenia, Armenia’s permanent representative at the CIS Armen Khachatryan on the occasion of the completion of his diplomatic mission in Belarus.
The President emphasized that Belarus and Armenia have absolutely identical positions on all issues on international agenda. “We understand the policy that is pursued by the current leadership of Armenia and was pursued by the previous leadership,” the head of state continued.
The President also remarked: “There are issues of concern for Armenians and Belarusians. For example, Nagorno-Karabakh. I will openly say that it is not our issue, not my issue. We have nothing to do there. There are conflicting parties that must handle the issue. We have a univocal position: Armenia and Azerbaijan should sit at the negotiating table and solve this problem without any strong or weak mediators. If they want to use someone as a guarantor, they must make this decision together. It is the right time to solve this issue today.”
The President also spoke about the extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin. “Does Armenia have anything to do with it? Armenia has never told me anything about Lapshin. Only one country, Azerbaijan, put him on the wanted list. When he was apprehended here I though why it happened right here. He could have gone anywhere else. Belarus would not have been involved in it. But he was. Interpol caught knew about it. We had to report and we did it as law-abiding people. What did we have to do with him? We had to extradite him to the country which had put him on the wanted list. Moreover, I will say it in public for the first time: no one wanted to take him back. They started to play this card later. He is the citizen of three countries, and neither of them needed him. They just wanted to get rid of this problem. Therefore, there are always subtexts in all issues which will be always used to someone’s advantage.”
The head of state continued: “You should know the main thing: we have been close people and will remain so. Armenia may have a different attitude to Azerbaijan, but Azerbaijan is also a close state and close people for us. We lived in one country some time ago. Why should we quarrel with Azerbaijan or Armenia? Perhaps, we will be useful for Azerbaijan and Armenia someday. Not as mediators. Therefore, I do not want to interfere. This position derives from the wisdom of the Belarusian and Armenians peoples.”