A once “prosperous” country has been ruined by its leaders and “oligarchs,” the Belarusian president has claimed FILE PHOTO. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. © Sputnik / Kristina Kormilitsyna

Ukraine has devolved into a Western-style oligarchy where all of its leaders are only interested in “plundering” the country and getting rich, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has claimed.

The president made the remarks on Wednesday during an address to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly, a gathering of high-profile officials and public figures. Lukashenko fired a broadside at the neighboring country, accusing its presidents and “oligarchs” of stealing Ukraine’s riches.

The process began immediately after Ukraine became an independent state following the collapse of the Soviet Union and has worsened over time, Lukashenko argued.

“Just think – a prosperous country. The land is fertile, half of the periodic table in its soil, two seas, mines, industrial giants. The people are creative, hard-working. Live, be happy and grow rich. And they grew rich, but only very few, in the very ‘best’ traditions of Western European democracies,” the Belarusian leader said.

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Every Ukrainian president, from “the first to the last one,” has been “plundering and stealing,” Lukashenko asserted, claiming that this inevitably led to political infighting and enduring unrest.

“The oligarchs and those in power have gathered all the resources under their control. The oligarchs, having received the wealth created by the people, wanted power. They went into politics and began to drag bandits and people into their squabbles. The Maidans have begun,” Lukashenko stated.

Ukrainian leaders, however, have consistently blamed the internal turmoil they created on foreign powers, primarily Russia and to a lesser extent Belarus, Lukashenko alleged.

“They created the necessary image of the enemy, ‘the culprit behind the hardships and poverty of the people’ – Russia, as well as us, Belarusians. We, you see, are now somehow to blame,” the leader said. (RT)