"We did not resent Russia making great efforts to normalize relations with the West [before], so don’t be indignant at our decision. It is necessary for us to calm down and work," Lukashenko said.

"Let no one be upset neither here nor there. We will consistently and purposefully build relations with the EU and the United States," he said.

"I understand the caution of the West on the eve of the next presidential elections in Belarus.

"However, the trade between Belarus and Russia is practically equal to its trade with EU countries and the United States. I can assure you that Belarus will continue its close cooperation with Moscow," Lukashenko said.

"We are closely connected with Russia. It always helps us, although there have been problems... We have never been traitors, and we will not be, and we openly declare our position."