In his annual address to the people and the National Assembly, the president said that the “oil showdown” with Russia led to the fact that the Belarus budget suffered a loss of 1.5 billion Belarusian rubles (about $614 million), according to News.Tut.
“Russia is afraid of losing us, because apart from us, they have no really close allies left. And the West has recently begun to show more and more objective interest in us. And China is seriously counting on the stability of its friend,” said the Belarusian leader.
In his address to the Belarusians, Lukashenko spoke about the situation with the Russians detained in the country from the Russian Wagner private army. He called the information that they were flying to Istanbul and South America a lie.
“All this is a lie – about Istanbul, about Venezuela. These people, they testified, were sent specifically to Belarus. The team was waiting. Tickets to Istanbul are all lies. Why fly to Africa via Belarus? Don’t listen to this lie!” Lukashenko said.
He added that the Russians could get to Turkey from the Crimea or Novorossiysk, which would be much closer than passing through Belarusian territory. The President of Belarus said that he had information about another detachment of foreigners who had been sent to the country and that he was convinced that billions of resources had been spent on destabilising the situation in Belarus.
“We have our country, the country has laws. Who but our native Russian brothers and the leadership do not know these laws?.. We behave with these guys in a good way – and we got a certain effect from it: they told everything… We know. We are native people. Belarusians, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles, Jews. We have always lived here in peace. Do not drop nuclear weapons here. Do not underestimate the situation, otherwise it all will be in fire to Vladivostok,” Lukashenko added.
It should be noted that members of the Russian Wagner private Russian army were detained in one of the sanatoriums in Belarus. A criminal case has already been opened against 33 mercenaries under the article “preparation for mass riots.” It is believed that mercenaries came to destabilise the situation in the country during the elections on 9 August.
Russian Wagner private military company, a Russian mercenary military structure, was established in 2013. It took part in hostilities in a number of conflicts, including in Donbas on the side of Russia, and in Syria on the side of Russia’s ally the Assad regime, in Sudan.