MINSK. June 15 (Interfax) - The European Union is not matching Belarus in its attempts to overcome recent disagreements, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said Thursday.
"When we take two-three steps toward better cooperation, you take only one," Lukashenko said on Thursday while receiving credentials from Ian Boag, head of the European Commission's Delegation to Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus.
Belarus and the EU have butted heads over recent elections and the government's treatment of opposition parties, their candidates and the Polish minority. Boag acknowledged recent Belarussian difficulties Thursday while saying that setting up the European Commission's office in Minsk could help find a solution to these problems.
On Thursday, however, Lukashenko also said that if the EU wants to improve relations, it must stop trying to dictate Belarussian policy.
“It will be possible to build constructive cooperation with the European Union if it stops dictating policy to Belarus, Lukashenko said. “I suggest we move forward and abandon our confrontation.
“We all need to clearly understand that the people of Belarus are proud and freedom-loving,” he added. “They will never put up with any dictate.”
Lukashenko added that Belarus will not tolerate verbal attacks by the EU.
"If Europe really wants to see Belarus as a good and prosperous country, we will never obstruct its policy,” he said. “But we will not stand any uncivilized methods and verbal attacks on our state.”