Lukashenko: Serbia should not rely on EU

Source: Beta

NIS -- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko told Serbians that they should solve their own problems and not expect help from abroad.

"If you hope that people will come from abroad, from Europe, you should not hope that they will come. Do not expect solutions from the outside, expect them from those people you elected yourself," Lukashenko told a news conference held at the Nis international airport.

The Belarus president spent the last week vacationing on Mt. Kopaonik in southern Serbia.

He said that the unemployment rate in his country is now one percent and that it was 50 percent before he took office.

"The recipe is very simple-from the mayor to the president, everyone has to deal with the issue of jobs and growth of the economy. If we can help you, we will," he said.

Lukashenko said that it was not easy for Belarus to implement reforms "taking into consideration the earlier relations with the European Union, and now with America."

"One reason for such position towards us was my stance on Kosovo independence even during the bombing," he said of the 1999 NATO attacks on Serbia.

He also said that Minsk's position on the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is well known, but that he will wait for the parliament's decision.

"We have a new parliament and they will make the decision, I will not give them any suggestions," Lukashenko said regarding the recognition of independence for the two provinces that proclaimed independence from Georgia.

The president also told reporters that he had agreed with Serbian officials and businessmen to set up a working group comprise of 10 to 15 businesspeople who will work on concrete economic projects.

Lukashenko answered a question from a journalist with the Belarus public broadcaster to say that his entourage while on Kopaonik was a lot smaller than the Serbian media reported.

"There were three people from my security in two shifts and a security chief," he said.

Before leaving he told his hosts, "If you solve the problem of transportation to Kopaonik, you can increase your profit five to ten times over."

Lukashenko was accompanied by the brother of Strength of Serbia Movement leader Bogoljub Karic.



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