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    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a news conference in Minsk, Belarus. File photo

    Belarusian President Urges EU to Abandon Double Standards, 'Work Together'

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    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday made a proposal to the European Union on cooperation in the sphere of regional security, adding that the West should abandon its policy of double standards.

    MINSK (Sputnik) — The Belarusian leader added that while he wanted to achieve significant results in the country's relations with the European Union, Brussels should first revise its policy toward Minsk.

    "Let's work together on stabilization of the situation in Europe… The whole European continent is on fire, it is necessary to stop it. If Belarus could do something [to help], feel free to ask for it… Let's live in friendship, we are ready for this," Lukashenko said in the Belarusian parliament, citing terrorist attacks in EU states as well as in other countries.

    "[The West] should get rid of its habit to look at [other countries] with prejudice and mistrust, should end its policy of double standards and not to lay down preliminary conditions," the president said.

    Several Western countries have criticized Belarus for the measures its taken toward curbing recent demonstrations, Lukashenko said, adding that these states take even more drastic steps to prevent protests on their own soil.

    The relations between Belarus and the West have improved in recent years in the context of Minsk's role in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. At the same time, a number of western nations, such as France, criticized the violent dispersal of unauthorized demonstrations as well as subsequent detentions of these rallies' participants in Belarus.

    The issue of terrorism has become topical for Europeans, as well as for the citizens of other nations, as the region has been targeted by a series of deadly attacks in recent years. These acts of violence include the March 22 attack on Westminster Bridge in London, the explosion in the St. Petersburg metro earlier this month, and, more recently, Thursday's shooting in Paris, which has been classified by French President Francois Hollande as terrorism-related.

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