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17 Apr 2020

Lukashenko pledges financial support for companies amid COVID-19

Lukashenko pledges financial support for companies amid COVID-19

LIDA DISTRICT, 17 April (BelTA) – Companies will get financial support through the local authorities, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited Neman Glassworks on 17 April, BelTA has learned.

The president stressed that in the current situation it is crucial to keep people employed. The head of state promised financial support from the national budget. Governors will distribute it among economic entities that need it most.

“The main thing today is to ensure people keep their jobs during this psychosis as I call it,” the head of state said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, there are plans to discuss economic measures to support companies next week. Funds will be allocated to the regions. “From Minsk we sometimes cannot see what is going on in Grodno or Vitebsk,” the president said. Governors insist: “We know whom to support. If you want to help, give us the money you are distributing.” I am all for it. We will give you the money, and you will decide here whom to help,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is confident that big companies need to be supported in the first place. It is also important to ensure people keep their jobs. “We need to support Belavia. The national airline cannot operate flights as airports are closed around the globe. They were doing a good job though. They were helping those stranded abroad to reach home, provided their services,” the president said. The airline did a lot to help Belarusians and other nationals to get home amid the global lockdown.

According to the president, support will be provided for those who themselves are looking for a way out of the current difficult situation. “People should understand that we need to live through these difficult times (we have got into trouble but this is not our fault). People should understand that everyone need to do their best to go through this difficult period,” the president said.

“I can see that there are a lot of job offerings in Minsk. There is a shortage of drivers, couriers, medical workers in the Belarusian capital. Come and work,” he added.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, many of the countries that have taken restrictive measures because of the coronavirus outbreak are taking gradual steps to restart their economic sectors. On the one hand, it should be easier for Belarus in this respect, as the country has not stopped its economic activity. However, the country has its difficulties. “We are in a more complicated situation than Russia. They are on vacation, but their pipelines continue operating. Even though the price [for oil] has fallen, the foreign currency continues coming to the country. We do not have such a safety net,” the president said. He added that there would be no charitable gestures from the government: “There is no extra money. No one will open the bag and start pouring out the money.”

“People need to take care of their families, find ways to earn a living. We will support those who need it, depending on the value and importance of the business and, most importantly, on how much they are trying to help themselves,” the president said.

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