OREANDA-NEWS. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Russia remains the main partner for Minsk.

"This year, we met several times with Russian President Vladimir Putin not only in Moscow. We are bound by long and strong bonds of friendship. Our countries are united by a single defense system. There are disagreements on some problems, but there is a" red line "that we have never let’s step over,” the president said in an interview with Sky News Arabia, commenting on Russian-Belarusian relations.

He noted that at a recent meeting with Putin, which lasted more than five hours, they discussed security, economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Russia remains our main partner," the president said, calling the talks with the Russian leader "a meeting between the two presidents of fraternal countries and neighbors."

As for relations with Western countries, Belarus is preparing for Western sanctions and continues to develop, said President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview with Sky News Arabia.

“We are quietly developing, looking at what nasty things they can throw at us, and getting ready for this,” Lukashenko said. A fragment of the interview was published on Monday by the Pul Pervy telegram channel close to Lukashenka's press service.

According to Lukashenko, this is done to destroy the economy. “We expected this and prepared for this. As a result of the sanctions for the first half of this year, the growth of the gross domestic product in Belarus amounted to about 3.5%. This is more than we planned last year,” he said.

The President noted that Western countries have imposed sanctions against Belarusian enterprises, but "they have not allowed their products to enter their market for a long time."

“That's all democracy and international trade. Therefore, we cooperated with your region, with Central Asia, but our main partner is Russia,” Lukashenka summed up.