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24 Nov 2017

Belarus president refuses to overrule nation's decision on capital punishment

Buda-Koshelevo, 24 November (BelTA) – People voted in the death penalty referendum, and I have no right to overrule this decision, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said while talking to the media, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that Europeans often ask the Belarusian authorities to suspend, prohibit the death penalty. “I can not overrule the decision taken by the people,” Alexander Lukashenko underlined.

“Should we want to do so, then we must hold a referendum,” the president said. “If we take this issue to a referendum, I don't need to tell you what the result will be. You know it yourselves,” the Belarusian leader said. When meeting with the German foreign minister I said to him that if Germany takes this issue to a referendum at a time when Europe and many countries are exposed to terrorist attacks you know, what the outcome will be. People see that death penalty may be a strong disincentive for some ‘hot heads’. So I tell him that maybe Europeans will soon turn to our experience,” he said.

“With regard to death penalty, I asked him a question: you are big friends with some countries in the Middle East and other regions, the United States. Why do not you ask them the things that you want from Belarus? He would not answer. Therefore, I think we will come to an agreement in this regard,” the president said.

The head of state also noted that there are a lot of issues related to security in the world and in the region. Belarus is playing a big role and can play an even bigger one. “Today Belarus is a quiet, orderly, dignified country, a kind of donor of security on the European continent and its status is raising in Europe,” the head of state believes. “We see, we hear, we appreciate it and we will always go halfway to accommodate the interests of the European states if we are not made to choose (as it was before, not anymore) between Russia or Europe,” he said.

The president said that “Russians are our brothers”. “Are they good or bad? You do not choose brothers. They may not like us in some things either. But we are kindred people. Therefore, there is no asking us the question who you are with. We will be friends with Europe, we will be working with Europe, but Russia is dear and very important to us,” the head of state noted.

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