President says Belarus has no need for Russia's recognition of its elections

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday his country does not need Russia's recognition of the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for Dec. 19.

"Under our laws, we need no recognition. For one and a half decades you have not recognized the existence of the state of Belarus, let alone elections," he told German reporters.

"So what? We are still alive," said Lukashenko.

He also said Belarus would cut its oil supplies from Russia starting next year, looking for alternative sources of gas due to high prices.

The country recently signed a deal with Venezuela to receive no less than 30 million tons of oil during the next three years.

However, Lukashenko nonetheless believed disagreements with Russia could be settled.

"Don't worry, we'll come to terms with Russia," he said. "However, this is only possible if Belarus is treated as an independent state."

Ten presidential candidates, including the incumbent head of state, will run in the Dec. 19 polls.


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