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Aleksandr Lukashenko: Belarus to withdraw Eurasian Union

President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko says Russia's trade wars within the Union are unallowable.

Aleksandr Lukashenko: Belarus to withdraw Eurasian Union

President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko says that he "does not exclude the possibility" of withdrawal from the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC), if the association agreements are not observed.

Today, in his speech at the annual press conference Lukashenko noted that "trade war" should not take place in the Union, and mentioned constant confrontation between Moscow and Minsk regarding import and export.

Lukashenko stressed that Belarus and another EEU member Kazakhstan has always advocated the preservation of "exclusively economic" status of the Union.

"We, and especially Kazakhstan, have always excluded any political nature of the Union," Lukashenko said, noting that it was for this reason that the two countries have rejected the draft joint visa regime.

Russian occupation of Ukrainian Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine have raised concerns among Russia's neighbors.

The EEU, which started operating January 1, 2015, includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. The Customs Union between Moscow, Minsk and Astana has become the basis for the organization.

It should be noted that previously experts stated that Aleksandr Lukashenko was tired of the aggressive policy of the Kremlin and began to look for Western partners. Forbes notes that the last year, when the economic situation in Russia had deteriorated significantly, Minsk became more amenable to dialogue with the West. The fact that "one of Vladimir Putin's best friends" tends to move away from Russia, demonstrates how seriously the events in Ukraine have affected the relationship between the Customs Union partners.