Belarus has never sought to join the European Union, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the Academy of Public Administration on 18 October. However, the president noted that the EU representatives asked him that question.
To join or not to join
“Neither I nor my government has had such an idea and goal. Since they have asked such a question, it means they had thought about it. Truly, if we joined the EU today, they would have no problems with us at all,” he said.
The president noted that he has access to the classified information: “Our intelligence once showed me a report on how they (the EU, the West – BelarusFeed note) assessed Belarus.
I was impressed (it was some two years ago) to learn that they see Belarus as the most advanced country in Eastern Europe ready to join the EU without amending its legislation.”
President Alexander Lukashenko believes that even the death penalty, one of the long-discussed issues between the EU and Belarus, is not an obstacle to having a dialogue today.
“If people vote for its abolition, we will abolish it. We had a referendum. Do you think I am happy to sign a death penalty sentence and know that a person is executed after that, roughly speaking?
I do not need this. People voted for it, and under the constitution, it is the president’s duty in any state which has the death penalty,” the president explained the country’s position on the issue.
Independence, no matter what
During the meeting, the president also stressed that he doesn’t want to see Belarus oppressed ever again and prefer people to rule the country and shape its future instead.
“I want our country to remain Belarus, to be in the center of Europe, stable, with uncompromised borders. I want us to seek happiness and be happy.
I want to see Belarus free and independent so that our children could have an opportunity to see other places but always return back to their homeland,” the head of state said.
Nonetheless, the Lukashenko doesn’t exclude creating alliances, unions and commonwealths preserving its independence.
“Times have changed. We are ready for any alliances, for any kind of commonwealths. But we are sovereign and independent, and we must keep our interests in mind.
We do it for the future of our children. For this we need to have defence capabilities, to be in control of all the processes,” the president added.