The Belarusian people are against the idea to make their country part of the Russian Federation, said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
"Just imagine Belarus is invited to become a province of the Russian Federation. How many Belarusians would vote for this? Zero. Nearly zero," Lukashenko said in an interview for Russian media outlets in Minsk on Friday.
"The people who have come from Russia have an even more radical attitude toward this," Lukashenko said. "They are categorically against it," he said.
"We insist that nobody should oppress anybody or suggest that Belarus is a region or a province of the Russian Federation. Nobody would agree to this," he said.
Asked on whom the establishment of a union between Belarus and Russia depends, Lukashenko said, "If this depended only on me, I would say how the union should be built; I would even set a timeline."
"But this, first, depends not only on me, and not even so much on me. Second, it is unlikely that some radical decisions will be made in your heated pre-election period, which has probably begun already. This issue is not for this period, although it is perhaps relevant and popular in Russia," he said.
Lukashenko reaffirmed Belarus's desire to develop allied relations with Russia. "There is one principle: we want to be respected, valued, and viewed as a state just like Russia."
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