Speaking at a news conference following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's May 21-22 official visit to the ex-Soviet nation, Alexander Lukashenko said: "We are satisfied with the results of the talks and the agreements reached... Iran is ready to help Belarus diversify its energy supplies."
Ahmadinejad agreed Monday to allow Belarus to develop its Jofeir oil and gas deposit. Minsk is also looking to refine oil in Iran, send crude home, or sell it to regional states. It would be the first energy project abroad for Belarus, which has so far unsuccessfully sought a part in oil production in Russia and Venezuela in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies.
"Energy dependence on one country is a huge problem for us. We have spoken openly about it," Lukashenko said Tuesday.
Ahmadinejad, who earlier called Lukashenko "one of my best friends," praised their mutual resolve with Belarus to back each other in international affairs.
"We have agreed to pursue a policy of solidarity on the international arena," he said. "The big powers that are trying to impose their hegemony will have to succumb to the strong will of our nations."
Lukashenko, famously dubbed "Europe's last dictator" for his crackdown on democracy and human rights and denied the right to travel to the U.S. and the EU, assured that Belarus "will do everything it can for Iran for the understanding it has displayed for the Belarusians."
Iran, already under UN diplomatic and economic restrictions over its defiance of international demands to halt its controversial nuclear programs, faces a third round of sanctions as the Security Council gathers Wednesday to hear a report on progress in its nuclear activities.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: The Pearl of Russia's Far East
Infographics: Nobel Peace Prize
Vladimir Putin Meets with Members of the Valdai International Discussion Club. Transcript of the Final Plenary Session
Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 11th meeting. The plenary session summed up the club’s work over the previous three days, which concentrated on analysing the factors eroding the current system of institutions and norms of international law.