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2 Jul 2019

Belarus president responds to arguments about new law on military draft

Belarus president responds to arguments about new law on military draft

MINSK, 2 July (BelTA) – During the official event held on 2 July in anticipation of Independence Day Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made a few comments in response to debates about amendments to the laws on effective functioning of the military organization of the state, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We’ve always said and I’ve been through that in full measure and have the right to say it: everyone must defend the motherland, the native country. Everyone, particularly men. We are now so brazen that we’ve started shifting the problem onto women, too. This must not happen in Belarus! The woman should be responsible for her own things while we should provide for the family and protect the motherland, our family, and our woman.”

The president noted that a number of topics have been recently hotly debated online, including amendments to laws concerning active military service. “People are hotly debating how they are going to join the army. In other words, how they will have to protect their land, their fatherland,” the head of state stressed. “Poor Defense Minister [Andrei] Ravkov. He has been stomped all over. They say either he brought in or the army brought in something into the parliament. They say MPs passed some bill and a catastrophe will happen tomorrow. Calm down. The president has not signed a single document where you think about some catastrophe.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, comments on the Internet are left by those, who primarily rooted for sovereignty and independence. “I’ve warned you that sovereignty and independence cost a lot and not only in monetary terms. Our society embraced the idea of sovereignty and independence with enthusiasm. Particularly those, who make comments today. But once the matter of duty, the price of independence at least for the sake of protecting the sovereignty was mentioned, everyone cried out ‘No!’,” he remarked.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, those, who oppose the new law in comments on the Internet, suggest splitting the Belarusian society into some classes: ordinary citizens will have to protect the country while other people will be able to work, get education, and live abroad instead of fighting for the motherland. “As the head of state when I have to think about some suggestion and have to sign the bill, I start thinking about other options in addition to those stipulated by the law,” the head of state said.

In his words, there are several ways the situation can be resolved. Seeking NATO protection is one of them. “If we strongly ask for it, they will promise it to us. And those, who make comments on the Internet, would accept it with pleasure. Do you want this option? I don’t,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Belarus’ merger with Russia is another way to resolve the situation, the president added. “We can ask them to protect us – the nuclear umbrella, hypersonic weapons and what not. We can ask and we can make a deal. I think it will be enough for our generation at least. We will let the children deal with it later,” the head of state noted sarcastically. “Do you want to become part of Russia so that it could protect us? You don’t. Neither do I.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that Belarusians are left with the third option: they have to protect themselves on their own. “Those, who make those comments, agree with it. Only they think they will not be the ones to guard the country from Brest to Smolensk. They will not be the ones to drive armored vehicles, fly the aircraft protecting our country. They think that people, who fail to enter a university, will be saddled with the job. Do you want it to be like that? I don’t. Feel free to do otherwise after my time,” the president said.

The head of state added that those, who did not learn from the history and the past war, will be bruised today. “Those, who will come here [bearing arms], will not try to differentiate whether you are a peasant, a medic, or a blue-collar worker,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “It is necessary to learn lessons from all events in order to endure, survive and be truly sovereign and independent.”

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