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5 Aug 2013

Lukashenko instructs to prepare science reform program within three months

MINSK, 5 August (BelTA) - A program of reforms in the Belarusian science should be developed within three months, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said a meeting on the issues of development of science in Belarus, BelTA has learnt.

"In November we will get together with representatives of the scientific community, discuss everything over and will adopt a new program of science development in the country," the President said.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that all issues will be addressed in a careful, thorough and public discussion in the course of partnership interaction between the scientific community and government bodies.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that Belarus takes a cautious approach to the reformation of the scientific sector. "We are moving in this direction step by step, softly, gently, in a Belarusian way. And the steps that we have taken are small, and cannot be cited as arguments by those who would criticize us once again. Moreover, I have taken the steps only when the scientific community was unable to make their own proposals,” the President said.

“I repeatedly suggested producing at least 1 or 2 proposals to reform the scientific sector. There were no responses. Then I had to act proceeding from how the leadership saw the problem. We were treading very carefully, as if on thin ice, in order not to do harm,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“I am saying this because we are going to hear a lot of “smart” people saying that Lukashenko follows Russia and someone else again. You know about the attempt to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences. It has absolutely nothing to do with what we are doing here. We are not going to interfere with the Academy of Sciences, tell scientists what to do, or re-distribute the property leased by scientific institutions. Manage it yourselves if you know how to do it efficiently,” the President said.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, an estimated 25,000 hectares of agricultural lands and companies have been handed over to the Academy of Sciences. “If you are ready to swallow this piece, we will give you more, and not only lands, but other companies, even the best ones to make them even better. This is the path we are heading. We are not going to divide anything under the table,” the President noted.

Alexander Lukashenko suggests only a governmental approach be used to the reformation of science.

The head of state noted that ahead of the meeting he received new proposals from the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. They envisage the transfer of all sectoral scientific organizations to the Academy and the opening of a scientific and practical center in the Academy and the State Science and Technology Committee for the development of high-tech economic sectors.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed he expects answers to fundamental issues: whether there is an program to upgrade the National Academy of Sciences and the sci-tech area, which goes in line with the spirit of time and development needs of science, and how the scientific sector should develop taking into account the tasks set forth by the economy and society.

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