The future of Belarus can no longer depend on Russia, President Alexander Lukashenko declared Friday, a day after talks between the once close ex-Soviet allies ended in acrimony.
Lukashenko, whose government was dubbed Europe's last dictatorship by the United States but is now courting closer ties with the European Union, said the days of Minsk "bowing down" to Moscow were over.
His extraordinary anti-Moscow tirade came a day after his talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Minsk were overshadowed by bitter disputes over Russian loans to Belarus and recent Belarussian overtures to the EU.
"It's not working out with Russia. We don't need to bow down. We don't need to whine and cry," his press service quoted Lukashenko as telling his government.
"We need to look for our happiness on a different part of the planet. I consciously say this in public. From this day on, that time has come to an end and another time has started."
mmm. This is gonna be "fun" to watch play out. How Russia reacts ought to be interesting. And telling.
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