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18 Aug 2020

Lukashenko slams opposition’s program as total failure

Lukashenko slams opposition’s program as total failure

MINSK, 18 August (BelTA) – The opposition staff’s program, which lists priority measures for the period till 2021 and long-term measures for the period till 2030, is a total failure. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with members of the Security Council of Belarus on 18 August, BelTA has learned.

The head of state instructed the government and the Belarus President Administration to analyze the document point by point and prepare information about what consequences the country will face if the program is implemented. “The government will prepare all the materials. We will inform the nation about consequences of every step then,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also made a few personal remarks about provisions of the program.

“For instance, the withdrawal from the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Customs Union (they are illiterates, the Customs Union has been replaced by the Eurasian Economic Union), and other integration associations where Russia dominates. I should say that Russia dominates none of those bodies. The opposition should read charter documents. These bodies make decisions by consensus and every country has one vote,” the head of state said.

The opposition also suggests introducing border control and customs control at the Belarusian-Russian border. “In other words, they want a full-fledged Belarusian-Russian border and all the consequences it entails,” the president noted.

“The third point is to prohibit selling objects of Belarusian infrastructure to Russian companies. I wonder to which companies they can be sold then. Naturally, Western ones. My position and our position are clear: we are not going to sell anything to anyone. Just the way things have been up till now,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about the program’s clause that provides for lifting state oversight from mass media. “So, today state oversight is a bad thing. But some coordinating council of some charlatans will be the one to control mass media. The way it’s been done in Ukraine and other countries, you know,” the president said.

Besides, the opposition suggests enabling the broadcasting of Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian TV channels in Belarus. “They will broadcast in Belarus. While the broadcasting of Russian TV channels will be prohibited. No comment,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

As for military affairs, the document suggests Belarus should withdraw from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russian military bases – a communications node in Vileika and a radar station near Baranovichi – should be shut down. It was noted during the conference that these facilities cannot be treated as military bases. “I don’t understand what threat military bases represent for us. These are not even combat units. 90% of their employees are Belarusians that draw salaries,” the head of state said. “Withdrawal from the Collective Security Treaty Organization… I assume the fact that we use Soviet, Russian weapons is dangerous. If we withdraw from the Collective Security Treaty Organization and follow this anti-Russian policy, these weapons will be ruined within one year,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“These Soviet-Russian weapons will be totally destroyed. Huge investments will be needed to rearm the Belarusian army in line with NATO standards. They think NATO members will give the money. Nobody will give anything! They will have to toil themselves. They don’t care. You will see it later,” the head of state noted.

“Then there is the development, broad development of border infrastructure at the western border with the European Union. You’ve heard me that they intend to close the border with Russia. Consequences are not difficult to predict. Today we trade with Russia. You know what will happen tomorrow,” Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about the introduction of the so-called creeping prohibition against the Russian language in Belarus. “They don’t state it openly. They suggest introducing criminal responsibility for insulting the Belarusian language. Have we ever insulted our mother tongue? It has never happened,” the head of state stressed.

Speaking about the matter of the language, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the opposition also suggests switching the army to the Belarusian language. Instruction in Belarusian starting with kindergartens and ending with universities should be introduced by 2030. “You and I have made up our minds. We’ve been through that and have turned the page. We’ve decided how we will act with regard to the Belarusian language and the Russian one. They are state languages in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “We’ve agreed we will not dwell on the matter. Feel free to speak any language you like. English is not forbidden in Belarus or any other language. Feel free to study Chinese, English. But no, they had to hype up the language problem!”

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that there are several state languages in some countries, including European ones. “Austria speaks German. And lives just fine,” he noted.

The restoration of the Belarusian autocephalous Orthodox church in opposition to the Belarusian Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate is another point of the opposition program. “We’ve always been proud of the fact that there is confessional peace in Belarus, that nobody interferes with anyone. Neither Orthodox believers, nor Catholic ones. Muslims, Jews, and so on live a pleasant life in Belarus. The opposition wants to start an interreligious war and hence an interethnic war. Everything we’ve always been proud of will be rejected and disgraced,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

At last the opposition program suggests submitting applications for Belarus’ membership in the European Union and NATO. The head of state noted that “democracy was installed in Ukraine about ten years ago” but the country has yet to become a NATO member or a European Union member. “Moreover, nobody looks forward to their membership. Nobody will look forward to Belarus’ membership. We will just destroy our country like that,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that American mass media have recently come up with a theory of the union of three seas: “the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Adriatic Sea. There is no Russia in it, no Serbia. But there is Belarus. We’ve been added to the union already.”

“Let me emphasize once again: we will promptly analyze these matters and inform the nation about consequences of such actions. But today you can see how well what they are trying to plant inside the country is coordinated. Re-election, chaos and so on, strikes at enterprises. They’ve started choking families of civil servants, military, police, mass media. We can see all of that. We don’t calm down,” the president concluded.

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