Belarus urges West to resume security dialogue, listen to ‘reason’

"Russia and Belarus, as (Russian President) Vladimir Putin and I often say, are open for dialogue with other states, including European ones," Lukashenko said after a meeting with Putin in the Belarusian capital Minsk.

"I hope that soon they will listen to the voice of reason and we will move on to a constructive discussion on issues of general security, and the future world order," he added.

Asserting that Moscow and Minsk both managed to overcome the potential negative consequences of Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine, Lukashenko said difficult times required countries to have political will and be results-oriented on all topics of the bilateral agenda.

"This is our answer. How successful we are in this work depends on the place that our countries will secure for themselves tomorrow in the new system of international coordinates," Lukashenko said.

He said the two countries had responded effectively to the threats and challenges facing them, while admitting that there were some "rough edges."

"Strengthening Belarus-Russia ties has become a natural response to the changing situation in the world, in which we are constantly tested and tested for strength," Lukashenko added.

On bilateral ties, however, he said that some Western countries "exhausted their negotiating possibilities" on certain sensitive issues.

The Belarusian leader also proposed to Putin that they work on "strategic areas that can determine the near future of Belarus and Russia," adding that resolving sensitive economic issues to help ensure the well-being of their peoples was a priority for Minsk and Moscow.

For his part, Putin, who was in Minsk for a one-day visit, said economic cooperation was a "priority" in relations between Russia and Belarus.

He said the trade turnover between the two countries could reach a record $40 billion by the end of 2022, expressing that Russia is ready to continue helping Belarus develop nuclear energy, despite it being potentially more profitable to simply supply more natural gas.

"In the energy sector, as we noted with Alexander Grigorievich (Lukashenko), Russia, to its own detriment, nevertheless continues the nuclear project -- we are building a nuclear power plant. The first unit is working," Putin said.

The Russian president was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, among other officials, who held separate meetings with their Belarusian counterparts.

Source: Anadolu Agency