Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called on Russia to respect the sovereignty of his country. In his annual address to the Parliament and the people of Belarus, Lukashenko urged Moscow to not consider Belarus its ‘errand boy.’
"I want Russians and especially the leadership of Russia to understand that we will not be their errand boy. We are an independent, sovereign state, which lives in the same house with them but has its own apartment. Maybe a tiny and small apartment, but still its own apartment," Lukashenko said.
The President said that Russia is the main strategic partner of Belarus but added that the West is also very important for Minsk. Lukashenko noted that Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will always live in the "common Slavic space.” He also called for the reformation and modernization of the CIS.
In April 2015, in an interview with Bloomberg, President Lukashenko said that his country will never be a part of Russia, and will fight against the invader "to the last man."
According to Lukashenko, there are many politicians in Russia who "think imperially and see Belarus only as their north-western territory."
"We give a definite answer to this: we will not be their north-western territory. But also we will never, as I understand it, conflict with Russia," the Belarusian leader said.
The annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea by Moscow in March 2014 and Russian support for rebels in eastern Ukraine have raised concerns about the intentions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the region.