Lukashenko: Crimea is part of Russia

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said no one is demanding that Belarus legally recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said no one is demanding that Belarus legally recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

"Today Crimea is part of the Russian territory. You can recognize it or not recognize it, nothing will change. No one is demanding that we recognize it or support its inclusion in Russia," Lukashenko told a briefing in Minsk on Sunday.

Lukashenko said that no one is demanding that he personally, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, and other agencies legally recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

"I think the situation will develop de facto. It doesn't matter if it will become de jure. We are not getting into that right now," Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko reiterated that as a citizen he is negative about the recent events in Ukraine. "It's bad that Russia has had to take such measures," he said.

At the same time, Lukashenko said Belarus will follow the same line as Russia. "We are bound by the agreements with Russia. We will be with Russia and all speculation on that matter should stop. We will conduct balanced policies, but, if the question arises, we will always be with Russia. And I told Putin about that," Lukashenko said.

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