Russia has been and will remain the chief strategic and economic partner of Belarus, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting on foreign policy priorities on Tuesday.

“Russia has always been and will remain our country’s strategic ally. We pursue an agreed foreign and security policy and are successfully developing an array of social and humanitarian issues,” he said.

According to Lukashenko, Russia is the main trade and economic partner of Belarus. “We are developing common approaches towards the key economic issues together,” the president said. He added that Russia accounts for half of the $2 bln exports increase in Belarus. “We see that, despite all the obstacles emerging for us in that market, including artificial ones, our goods are highly sought after,” he noted.

Lukashenko emphasized that in the current situation, “It is necessary to continue working calmly, confidently and persistently with the Russian side to resolve specific economic issues.”

“If the Russians say today that embargoes and sanctions are a chance for their economy, you must understand that this is an equal chance for our economy too, because our economic ties are intertwined and cooperation is really deep,” the Belarusian president noted. “When they talk about import substitution, this is a chance for our import substitution.”

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