Wall Street Journal interview today had some excellent quotes.
Lukashenko, in His Own Words
Below, excerpts from Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko's interview with The Wall Street Journal Tuesday. The interview was conducted in Russian, and translated by the Journal.
On the release of political opponent Alexander Kozulin earlier this year:
"The West perceived this as some kind of step toward democracy. You are welcome, thank you very much. You know, strictly between us, sometimes I think if they could find five or six more political prisoners here and told us to free them, and that then perhaps we would make a few more steps forward, we would do it readily. We could free even more. But they haven't found any more."
On the possibility of recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia:
"If you [the West] recognized Kosovo, why not recognize Abkhazia? I don't see any problems here. There is a precedent[hellip] Europe and America understand our position and our situation. And I will be honest, they are no longer pushing it as rigidly with us as before. So I don't think there would be negative repercussions for our relations or the like. I think this question is finished. It is no longer as acute as it was two months ago."
On the financial crisis:
"And I warned the Americans and others. No one listened to me[hellip] As it turned out, I was right. Now in America they are talking about an alternative to this ultraliberal market system, where everything is allowed, where you can eat more than what you make, and spend more than what you earn."
On Barack Obama:
"I look at Obama, a young man, a good-looking person. That is my first impression, I feel sorry for him. He looks 100% like Lukashenko, when I came to power after the downfall of the Soviet Union. The store shelves were empty, a severe financial crisis."