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Opinions & Interviews

30 Oct 2019

Belarus president talks about head of state’s work during foreign visits

Belarus president talks about head of state’s work during foreign visits

MINSK, 30 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko talked about the role of the head of state in advancing trade and economic cooperation with other countries, in particular, during foreign visits, while talking to reporters on 30 October, BelTA has learned.

Taking into account the busy schedule of foreign visits of the Belarusian head of state, the reporters asked Aleksandr Lukashenko what results he expects with regard to the advancement of trade and economic cooperation.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “You are too heavily influenced by our bureaucrats and their style of work. For some reason the president is forced to take care of all of it. Maybe it was necessary at some point in the past. I would like everyone to understand that it is the head of state’s job to establish a connection with the necessary countries. It has been like that since Peter the Great’s times. If the president arrives in China, India, the Middle East, Russia, in Austria now, we had arrangements for a visit to Latvia after that, it means the president has to pave the way there. And those, who have to sell their products or buy things there, have to follow in his steps. This is my job,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that sometimes he does his part and establishes a connection while officials and executives show little desire to explore the new opportunities. “This is why I have to go there once again in order to do their job and trade. Later on I take another look: if they don’t want to work, then I may be forced to retire them or send them somewhere else,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

“Austria, Latvia, and other countries represent windows in the fence that was built around our country once. Moreover, sanctions were enforced. This is why we are forced to make windows not exactly anew but at a new level, in modern day and age and build roads,” the head of state stated.

Speaking about Middle East countries, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked he had been to the region many times and there are certain peculiarities in building connections with this region. For instance, people over there prefer working via family members instead of duly appointed government officials although it is not the custom in Belarus. “This is why my eldest son constantly oversees these matters as my aide. And they go for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that particularly good relations had been established with the UAE. The crown prince of Abu Dhabi visited Belarus a short while ago. “We met with him and came to terms on a lot of things,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. In particular, he mentioned the proposal of UAE leadership to invest in Belarusian agriculture and buy products. “They are ready to make investments here and expand their presence. We should grab the opportunity,” the president said.

The head of state added that the forthcoming visit to the Middle East will also be an opportunity for him to get away from the established routine for several days. “I would like to soak in that gulf for at least three days at the same time,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “I will not be able to go on a vacation. The president has no deputies.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko added he had already made plans for work after the visit. For instance, the presidential aide Aleksandr Kosinets will have to present a report on major top-priority construction projects, the relevant government conference is in the works. Head of the Belarus President Administration Natalya Kochanova will brief Aleksandr Lukashenko on progress of the parliamentary election campaign. Personnel matters will also be discussed. “So, I will have to take care of a set of routine but very important matters,” the president said.

“I wish I could go on vacation like everyone else does. A genuine vacation. At least two weeks. But it can happen only later, in another life,” Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded.

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