Medvedev criticizes Belarusian leader for pulling out of summit
The Russian president criticized his Belarusian counterpart on Sunday for refusing to attend a security summit in Moscow, and for failing to personally discuss the matter.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pulled out of the summit of the post-Soviet Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) security bloc in protest against Russia`s ban on Belarusian dairy products.
Dmitry Medvedev told reporters in Moscow: "I would like to say that in such a situation, leaders should act as partners."
"Alexander Grigorievich Lukashenko did not call me on the telephone and tell me that he had taken the decision not to come, but staff from his administration called us," he said.
The Belarusian government earlier said it would refuse to send a delegation to the summit, in protest against "economic discrimination" on the part of Russia.
Earlier in June, Russia banned imports of over 1,000 types of dairy products from Belarus, dealing a significant blow to its budget revenue, saying producers in the ex-Soviet republic had failed to comply with new Russian regulations.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a note handed to the CSTO secretariat on Sunday that the country`s non-participation "means the lack of approval from the Republic of Belarus of decisions being considered" at the summit, along with the foreign and defense ministers` meetings, and "consequently a lack of consensus for the taking of these decisions."
However, the leaders of the other member states - Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan - signed an agreement at the summit on creating a joint rapid-reaction force.