Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as western leaders question his mental health.
“If you think that President Putin physically doesn’t feel well or something like that, he is, as we say, very much alive,” Lukashenko told Japanese television channel TBS in an interview, according to Reuters.
“He will catch a cold at all our funerals, as they say here. He is an absolutely adequate and healthy person. So the West and you should get this stupidity, this fiction out of your heads. Putin is absolutely adequate. He is in better shape than ever,” he continued, adding “this is a completely sane, healthy person, physically healthy. He’s an athlete.”
Lukashenko is considered to be one of Putin’s closest allies.
“He and I haven’t only met as heads of state, we’re on friendly terms,” Lukashenko said during the interview. “I’m absolutely privy to all his details, as far as possible, both state and personal.”
Their two countries held joint military drills before Russia invaded Ukraine. Now, Belarus has become the target of some western sanctions for being complicit in Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
During the interview Lukashenko echoed some of Putin’s talking points especially on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, calling it a “tragedy.”
“While the USSR existed, the world was multipolar and one pole balanced the other,” he said, according to Reuters. “Now the reason for what’s happening in the world is unipolarity – the monopolization of our planet by the United States of America.”