Yet again the head of state is unveiling the secrets of his policy, Belarusian economy and sports to journalists representing different regions of Russia. Belsat.eu draws your attention to Lukashenka’s most controversial and weighty statements.
It is the eleventh time that the Belarusian authorities have organised a press tour for Russian journalists. A presidential press conference proves to be its highest point; such tours usually result in lots and lots of media content praising Lukashenka’s regime in Russian regional press, on TV and radio channels.
Being asked about the EU’s harsh reaction to joint Russia-Belarus military trainings and his attitude to a NATO’s scheduled war game, Lukashenka wondered why ‘the Poles had squealled so much’. In his opinion, the Polish side is banking on American support and wants to get an anti-rocket system, other bonuses and money for keeping its military preparedness.
Law and order
One of the reporters was about to walk along Minsk in the evening but he changed his mind because of his fear to be beaten in its streets. Some women tried to calm his down saying that the only threatening thing in the capital of Belarus is ‘Amor’s arrows’. The journalist suggested that Belarus should ‘disband police forces’.
Aliaksandr Lukashenka seized the moment and told the journalists ‘a true story’. During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin a Belarusian delegate was very sad. “It turned out that four men broke in his son’s flat, tied the son tightly and put him on the floor, took money and something else. I phoned the Minister of Interior and ordered to find these people. It is the cabinet analysts who singled them out. At the moment they are facing the severest punishment,” he said. According to Lukashenka, he is able to take any case under his personal control. The Belarusian leader could not help blaming Russia for decreasing crime detection rate.
”In Soviet times we were juster at our own option, not because of laws. We did not know these laws at all! Ideologists drubbed into our heads how we were supposed to live,” he confessed.
The head of state has made a startling statement telling about combating banditism in the recent past.
“We formed a special group <…. and set traps for bandits on the highway from the border to Brest. Everyone who put up resistance was shot in sight!”
According to him, they wiped up three criminal groupings in such a way.
It is widely believed that special operations soldiers who were stamping out crime might have joined death squads going after Lukashenka’s political opponents.
‘Swindlers’ from Russia
A reporter of newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva asked Lukashenka to name Russian businessmen who are not welcome in Minsk. Lukashenka answered he would not like to see ‘swindlers’ in Belarus and swithced to the issue of potash business. It was him who made Belaruskaliy earn significant profits to to the budget of Belarus, he said. According to the President, earlier excess profits went to ‘swindlers’.
The former Uralkali owner was bullied out of the enterprise, Lukashenka said. “He came to me crying,” the Belarusian leader remembered. After opening the ‘potash’ case Russian tycoon Suleiman Kerimov sent a clear message ‘Sorry, ny fault’, he said. Lukashenka accuses Mr Kerimov of infliction of $3 bn damage to the state budget of our country.
“I would put Kerimov and his associates in the same cell. The next day they would sell all the assets at the highest price. If they failed to find buyers I would find them,” he said.
“Is Ukraine’s ‘rapid drift’ to the EU a tragedy for the Slavonic world?” Lukashenka was asked.
“ If they sign [any agreement] with the EU it is not a big deal. But they are running the danger of closing the door to us, to the Customs Union, to the Eurasian Union,” he stated. If the EU-Ukrainian border is open there will be no cooperation with Ukraine, he stressed. “ But it is just fuss, Ukraine is ‘our’ country, ‘our’ people. Even if they enter NATO they will be ours,” he added up.
The shade of opposition
A journalist remembered encountering ‘so called opposition’ not far the Belarusian Embassy in Moscow. “If such people come into power I am afraid for Belarus,” she said and started complaining of the Russian realities. The woman asked Lukashenka to tell how he is preserving the system of social protection. “ It is a pity our people do not appreciate it,” she added.
“We have spoilt the Belarusians a bit. We did not have to come through orange-blue-brown revolutions, which was my mission. <….> I was elected President when I was snotty-nosed 38-year man. I cannot answer the question why it happened so. Now, when everything is ok, there is no elections at the moment, and all the people are wondering if there will be any devaluation. I tell you: it will happen if you want!”
A journalist representing newspaper ‘The Voice of Russia’ asked why Belarus refused to recognise the independence of Abkhasia and South Ossetia. Lukashenka parried the question: “ Does Russia really need it?” then he added that in this case Georgia ‘will be excited’ and the West ‘will startle’. After the journalist’s remark on the necessity of allies’ standing together Aliaksandr Lukashenka asked him to recall ‘gas,’ ‘milk’ and ‘sugar’ wars with Russia. Moreover, should Belarus take this step it could face economic collapse because of confrontation from the West, he added.
President’s manners leave much to be desired
Answering a question about his attitude to the conflict between Russia and Lithuania, the Belarusian President suddenly suggested … Kaliningrad region should become Belarusian! “If Lithuanians keep behaving like that they will have their faces punched. No one has the right to close the border [i.e. the way] to Kaliningrad region. Give it to us! We will plough every hectare, every are there, we will turn it into a prosperous land!”