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Opinions & Interviews

31 May 2019

Lukashenko responds to accusations of authoritarian rule

Lukashenko responds to accusations of authoritarian rule

MINSK, 31 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko responded to accusations of authoritarian rule as he met with heads of constitutional courts of foreign states on 31 May, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that in the 1990s the Belarusian Constitution and other legal acts evolved with due regard to the existing realities. In this context, Aleksandr Lukashenko responded to accusations of embracing authoritarianism as a form of government. “I have never denied it. Indeed, our legal system was premised upon building and strengthening the power vertical, because after the collapse of the Soviet Union we were left alone, with Soviet rubles to make it worse. They promised us to stick to the Soviet currency. After that we were stiffed out of the payment for our goods. They owe Belarus many billions, but we have never received them. What I mean is that our people had nothing to eat back then: store shelves stood empty and that was in the country that had always had a well-developed consumer goods sector and food production,” the head of state noted.

In these circumstances, some started teaching the country’s government democracy and human rights. “The basic human right was to have something to eat and to wear, and I focused on that,” he emphasized.  

The head of state added that criticism extended to other post-Soviet states, including Kazakhstan, or Tajikistan that went through the war. “They had no time for debate; they needed to save their country. We proceeded from the situation we were in,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president underlined that reforms take time: you cannot succeed by taking things by storm. “They tried it out in Ukraine and what did they end up with? It is a very rich European country. Are they doing anything wrong? They are doing everything right. This way or another, we all are following this path. And we are also pushed from outside. However, politicians are there to adapt foreign practices for their country, therefore, time is the main factor. People sitting at this table have no disagreements about politics, neither those from the west nor those from the east. Someone is moving faster towards democracy, someone is advancing more slowly. Someone burned their fingers on this democracy, including in the west. I often cite this example: Germany, a country of law and order, reached the point where local girls are afraid of wearing skirts at school. Is it okay?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

The Belarusian president also commented on the events in France. “I would not want something like that happen in Belarus. France has always been a calm and advanced country. Look what is going on in the United States of America. I have once said at the Munich Conference: “While criticizing us, keep in mind our experience, because you might need it one day to preserve peace and stability in your countries.”

The president believes that law should be used as an instrument of avoiding chaos and maintaining peace and stability, which are the main values for a nation. “All relations within a state should be based on law. This will help prevent chaos. We are guided by this principle in our work,” the Belarusian leader said.


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