Lukashenko thanks West for sanctions gifting Belarus trade relations with Zimbabwe

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HARARE, (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the West for the sanctions as he spoke at a ceremony to hand over Belarusian equipment in Harare on 31 January, BelTA has learned.

“I would like to thank the United States and the entire Western world for the sanctions. Otherwise, these would not be Belarusian tractors on this huge field today but U.S. and German ones,” he said.

The participants of the event supported the head of state with a big round of applause.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that once the current leader of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa asked him for assistance in the development of agriculture. “The history of the Zimbabwean people, their past were not easy. The president asked us for help in feeding the people, reviving the agricultural sector,” the head of state recalled. “And I promised to help.”

“Agriculture and about 1,000 tractors that we see here today are just the first trial step,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Please remember: we are separated by thousands of kilometers but we are always ready to help you and to accept your help. We are ready to lend you a helping hand any time, anywhere, in solving the most complex problems and tasks,” the Belarusian leader assured. He called on the people of Zimbabwe to stay united and wished everyone happiness, peace and good and also bread on the tables.

As for the sanctions, Aleksandr Lukashenko made similar statements following the talks with Emmerson Mnangagwa. Journalists, in particular, asked about the situation with sales of mineral fertilizers. “This year we sold as much mineral fertilizers as we sought. That’s all about the sanctions. Today we have agreed to bring about one million tonnes to Zimbabwe, if necessary, of various kinds of mineral fertilizers,” he said.

The president stressed that the world has changed. The United States indeed imposed the sanctions but there are still many states, including Western ones, that are willing to cooperate.