MINSK, October 2 (RIA Novosti) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko lashed out at the United States in an interview aired Wednesday, likening US President Barack Obama’s talk of American exceptionalism to Nazi rhetoric.
The remarks came in response to a televised appeal last month by Obama calling for US citizens to support the prospect of military intervention in Syria in the name of what he described as American exceptionalism.
Lukashenko said the sentiment was “dangerous and counterproductive.”
“There are 300 million people [in the United States]. They, as it once was in Germany, are beginning to sense that theirs is a special race, special blood, special exceptionalism, and they should restore world order and bring everybody to their standards,” Lukashenko told Kazakhstan television channel 24KZ.
Lukashenko also referenced Obama’s racial background in his criticism of the US leader.
“Only very recently, black people in America were slaves, and now today they’re claiming some kind of exceptionalism,” he said. “I never thought that a man coming out of poverty would be able to pursue such rhetoric in the world.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin also slammed the idea of US exceptionalism last month in a New York Times op-ed piece in which he described the concept as “extremely dangerous,” arguing that God had created everyone equal.
Lukashenko is no stranger to impolitic and off-color remarks.
Last year, he hit out at criticism from German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who had called Lukashenko “Europe’s last dictator,” by remarking that he would “rather be a dictator than gay."
Westerwelle is his country’s first openly gay minister.