Details were added after first paragraph (first version was posted at 16:24)
Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with Azerbaijan's First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyubov that Belarus is grateful to Azerbaijan for the support provided, BELTA correspondent reported.
"Our relations are based on our good attitude toward each other, among other things," Alexander Lukashenko emphasized. He noted that he developed good and cordial relations with the President of Azerbaijan.
Addressing Yagub Eyyubov, the Belarusian head of state said, "I could not but receive you. I would be simply unfair on my part not to do this taking into consideration what you personally and your government have done, besides the presidents, for the trade and economic relations of the two countries, your contribution to the cooperation between Belarus and Azerbaijan. Alexander Lukashenko noted that over the past five years the bilateral trade soared about five times; in 2011 the figure rose tenfold compared with the same period last year.
"You helped us a lot. Our independence and our sovereignty, unfortunately, rely on these wretched energy sources and raw materials because of the specific structure of our economy. You lent us a hand, including last year. Today we refine premium quality Azerbaijani oil. You protected us and saved our independence and sovereignty, just like Venezuela did," the head of state said.
"We sincerely appreciate it," Alexander Lukashenko emphasized. He noted that the countries maintain closest relations across sensitive issues.
"We are open to discuss any topic. Whatever they tell me about our relations with Azerbaijan, including in the CSTO and other structures, you are the country that helped us out in time of need. We must return the favor," Alexander Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian President asked to tell President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev that Belarus will remain committed to the agreements reached during the recent visit of the Belarusian head of state to Baku. "We support you immensely, from economy to Eurovision," the Belarusian leader said.
In his words, Azerbaijan's victory in Eurovision is a testimony to the high level of culture and its closeness to European culture. "You can adjust, make a show that is not common for the people of Azerbaijan, but if needed, you can do it. It is a very high level, I value it a lot," the Belarusian President said.
Yagub Eyyubov, in turn, gave Alexander Lukashenko most cordial and fraternal regards from President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. Yagub Eyyubov noted that the ministries, organizations and companies of the two countries are developing fruitful cooperation.