About relationship with Putin
“We are very good friends with Putin, although fighting very often — so closest relations. In recent years the situation [in relations between Russia and Belarus] is developing or whatever, but the fact that [the Russian authorities] there are a variety of forces, including the country’s leadership. Too bad that separate opinions and decisions differ from the decisions of Putin, and I told him, his friend, not once talked about this”.
About the independence of Belarus
“The aggravation [of relations of Russia and Belarus] not happen the first time. Russia often enough and for gas and oil pipe, and now the same thing happens. After all of these conflicts in front of me repeatedly apologized, but why pull for a living.
Freedom and independence are not estimated any figures. If, on the one hand, we will be the question of independence and freedom, and with another — oil, it’s not much of a choice. We will still find a way.
We discussed the conflict with Putin. I tell him that now all are fighting for markets, and Russia in danger of losing our market. I told him that we can import oil as much as necessary and anywhere, process it [at the refinery] in Mozyr and sell. He tells me that we don’t do that, because it’s very expensive. Well, I did not explain to him that the independence of any more oil”.
About contracts with Russia
“We have international treaties and we are not one of them broke. Russia kicks them in the tail and mane. We agreed that Russia will supply us with 24 million tons of oil, and now we are going to put already 18, then 14, and now we are talking about 12 million tons.
Perhaps no one appreciated — maybe that’s not terrible, but you imagine that there is an interstate agreement [on the borders], and one Minister (referring to the head of the FSB. —) one stroke of the pen it breaks. Is that normal?”
About the price of gas
“The cost of gas depends on oil prices, so when oil cost $120, we paid crazy money, and gas for us was also very expensive. But then the price of oil fell, because of this, the gas is also cheaper. And if earlier we paid for gas $132,77 [per 1 thousand cubic meters], now according to the formula the equal-profit prices we have to pay $83. Russia woke up — no, at these prices [to sell gas].
I tell [Russia] that it is not logic, we have agreements, there is practice, there is life. I send to Moscow for negotiations of their Ministers, but there they sit for days in reception and no one is talking. I talked about this Putin, he promised to investigate, but time passes and nothing changes”.
On the negotiations with the Russian government
“Our government managed to negotiate that we will pay for gas not $82 [per 1 thousand cubic meters], and $107, but then in Russia felt that we had not paid them even at this price of $550 million They agreed that we, too, are losing money and Russia are willing to compensate this amount.
I called Putin, said to me there will arrive Medvedev [to negotiate on the price of gas]. It brings me a table at the outbreak of this situation and says that we will compensate for the shortfall in income through the price of oil or even in [Russia’s] budget. I told him make any difference to me, money does not smell, and I don’t care where they’re from. I called Putin [and said that all agreed with Medvedev].
After that I come to Moscow, we with Putin until two in the morning and discussed a variety of issues and at the end of the conversation he tells me that we can’t go that way [of agreements with Medvedev]. I told him: “Volodya, don’t spoil the evening, I understand you”.
He said to me: “Look, no offense, let’s look for other options. This is not normal, if we compensate for [the loss of “Gazprom” low gas price for Belarus] from the state budget”. But I said the same thing to their Ministers — how is it possible that “Gazprom” will receive money from the budget? What is $500 million to “Gazprom”?
We agreed that the government will sit down and will offer a new option. I say to Putin: “Tell me just one question — why have you changed your practices, you asked me [to agree with Medvedev]”. He said, “Yes, you did. But I can’t now [to follow the agreements]”. Yeah, he’s right, let the government work. Although negotiate still nothing failed, everything goes to watch such programmes”.
On the trials with Russia
“How can I regard [the situation with contracts for gas and oil]? As a mockery. We went to court, of course, will judge. But is it normal when my family, loved ones begin to tear up turnip?”
On the export of prohibited products
“We promised that we [banned for sale in Russia] goods from Europe to pass will not. But if we get raw materials such as milk, apples or fish, we processed. We do not perceive stickers, no. This is a completely different product.
In Russia, enterprises of processing [food industry] of the pre-revolutionary, they are scared to go, they are far from our modernized enterprise. And here we process the products and deliver it to Russia. Is that not allowed? No. And transit we in Russia do not deliver.
Of course, there may be occasions when someone just perekleivat sticker and sells, for example, Hungarian products under the guise of Egypt. But all of this is happening already in customs — with the Russian customs and agree to carry [goods in Russia]. In Russia for a bribe everything is possible, nothing is controlled.”
About Ukrainian oligarchs
“For example, we have brought to Russia the Ukrainian milk, and we are told that this cannot be done. Whom we punish? Ukrainian peasant. Why don’t you close the oligarchic enterprise? Why Roshen (Lipetsk confectionary factory owned by the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. —) not closed?
Ukrainians are what? The enemies of the us and the Russians? Push the Ukrainian oligarchs. Not pushing, but why? Because those are shared. Here is the whole problem.”
About EurAsEC and the Customs Union
“As for the exit from the EurAsEC and the Customs Union, it is complete fiction.
We were the initiators of all these integration projects. I remember as the beginning of the EurAsEC in the kitchen at Putin. We sat the three of us — me, Putin and [Ukrainian President Leonid] Kuchma. And we started to work there wrote it all on my knees, dictated [their thoughts] Putin, then still a young President.
Why did we join the Customs Union? Because I expect that it will be created on terms of equality. If the conditions are not equal, then why go there?
But we are constantly suffering due to the fact that the conditions are unequal. Because of this, we have already lost $15 billion In Russia recognize these numbers. And even gave us a loan of $5 billion Seized from us our money and gave us back a third of them under mad percent.”
About joining NATO
“We are not Ukraine, we are not Antirossiya. We do not seek to join NATO. We hold sacred the agreement on the protection of our space, our common Fatherland”.
About the Russians
“Never hurt the Russians. It is our people. Presidents come and go, but peoples remain. Sooner or later we’re all agree”.
The closure of the border between Russia and Belarus
“Russia is concerned that we abolished visas for travel to Belarus for foreigners. She was concerned that someone unwanted may come to Russia via Belarus, despite the fact that Russia itself is one only does not accept, even former terrorists.
And we don’t want to require visas for these foreigners. We believe that their arrival, we will get more money. We restore contacts, is normal and civilized, the more we see ourselves as Eurasian center. As the center can be isolated?
Moreover, all remained as before. We allowed foreigners to visit without a visa only through Minsk airport, and they still pass inspection. We have with Russia there is a common basis of “banned”, banned in Russia and Belarus — it has 1.5 million people.
So hurt Russia? I think that we made this decision without them. And we have such a right. We are a sovereign and independent country. Moreover, we bring to Russia information about what is the decision of the [visa waiver] will be made.”