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Lukashenko dispels rumours that Belarus could be absorbed by Russia

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko affirmed on Thursday that his country would not become a part of Russia.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko affirmed on Thursday that his country would not become a part of Russia.

“We have never and will never seek to become a part of any country, even brotherly Russia,” Lukashenko said in a speech, excerpts of which were carried by state news agency BelTA.

Media reports have suggested that Belarus could unite with neighbouring Russia to form a new country that would enable Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue as leader after his constitutional term limit expires in 2024.

Last week, the Belarusian ambassador to Russia, Vladimir Semashko, was quoted as saying in an interview with the Belarusian news site Tut.by that the two countries intended to form a common governing structure.

That plan would be a continuation of the “union state” agreement that came into effect two decades ago between the two former Soviet countries, the envoy was quoted as saying.

Belarus and Russia already have a relatively open border and common trade zone.

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