Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned that emotions should not interfere with Russia-Belarus relations.
Lavrov was speaking as Belarus paid off its $21.16-million debt to Russian energy export monopoly Inter RAO, a day after Moscow cut electricity supplies to the country.
“It is in our interests that any emotional outbursts should be removed from the public sphere, I have repeatedly talked about this with my Belarusian counterpart,” Lavrov told the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, on Thursday.
“Things are not always the way we want them to but Belarus is nevertheless our strategic partner, and we have with this partner thousands of different links on the government, corporate and, most importantly, human level,” he said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was recently the subject of a barrage from Belarus’s state TV, which accused him, among other things, of offending the Belarusian people by not showing up for festivities in Brest last week celebrating the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, as World War II is known across the former Soviet Union.
Russia responded in kind, with the pro-Kremlin NTV channel showing a derogatory documentary about Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.