Lukashenko: Russian media attack prevented Belarus from recognizing independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia


Minsk, October 2 (Interfax) - It is high time for Belarus to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia but Russian media pressure prevented Belarus from making the decision, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said.

"The ally [Russia] is to blame itself. Someone in Russia wanted to push us. And the national media controlled by government officials simply started baiting us," he said at a Friday press conference.

Lukashenko said that he finds it necessary to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and that currently Belarus is building relations with them "as a state with other states."

He said he had been ready to recognize the new republics in the Caucasus. When he was visiting Lithuania in the middle of September he said that Belarus should support its ally, Russia, on the issue.

Lukashenko said that the mechanism of his country's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia had been made known to the EU but an attack was launched on Belarus in the Russian media.

"Someone in Russia probably did not want us to recognize them at all," he said. "They simply started baiting us in the media- "he is not recognizing because he was not given [a loan of] $500 million." As if I should recognize the republics for money!" he said.

"The tide rose at the very moment when we were supposed to recognize the republics" and the leadership of Russia was aware of the fact, Lukashenko said.

"Everything was done for you know who to gain some capital: "they were pushed and they recognized!" he said.

He said that the situation following the armed conflict in the Caucasus requires thorough analysis which is the reason why Belarus has been thinking so long about the status of the new republics.

"Recognition is a serious act. All CIS republics have categorically refused to recognize [South Ossetia and Abkhazia]," Lukashenko said. "We'll sort things out," he summed up.



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