Lukashenka about media workers: Journalism must finally cease to be ‘restrained’

Amid the continuing post-election protests, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has stated that the authorities should fight for the minds of ‘hesitating’ Belarusians who are taking a neutral stance between his supporters and the opposition.

On Friday, Alyaksandr Lukashenka took part in discussing the ‘most urgent issues’ with Belarusian officials. There were certain shortcomings in the work of mass media, he stressed. He demanded major media outlets’ staffing needs be filled in the near future.

“The Presidential Administration will supervise this process. We must have a powerful core ready to defend the information sovereignty accurately, professionally, and most importantly, proactively. It took our major TV networks and other media outlets two months to start working as they do now. You have to work in this way all the time. Journalism must finally cease to be ‘restrained’ as it has been the case in our country until now. I share the responsibility in this regard, too,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes him.

Belsat journalists persecuted after elections amid rising repression figures

Alyaksandr Lukashenka also expressed his dissatisfaction with the fact that lots of students were showing up at anti-presidential demonstrations. He linked such engagement to ‘the negligence and underperforming of university rectors’ and announced personnel moves. He also slammed the dissidents, but said that the protests were slowing down.

“People in Minsk have already realised what they could lose. The entire country has already understood it, even in Hrodna and Brest,” he noted.

In addition, he instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to hold ground on the global arena.

“Unfortunately, the West keeps trying to destabilise the situation in our country <…> We should be firm in defending our interests and confronting our counterparts, in particular politicians from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and in some way Ukraine,” he added.

In his view, diplomats should keep explaining to foreign citizens that their politicians are on the wrong track in their relations with Belarus.

Protest month in photos, following BelTA