During Wednesday’s press conference, Alyaksandr Lukashenka commented on the capital punishment in Belarus, a Belsat TV correspondent reports from Vienna.
According to him, the death penalty issue was put to a referendum in 1995.
“The referendum introduced the death penalty in Belarus. Only a referendum can cancel it,” the Belarusian leader said.
Since the year of 1995, the Belarusians’ opinion on the death penalty has not changed, Lukashenka stressed. But the authorities are working on the issue ‘together with European institutions’.
The capital punishment is also applied in other countries, for example, in the US and China, he noted.
Lukashenka recalled that the Council of Europe denied its membership to Belarus, since it remains the only European country where criminals may be executed.
“As far as the Council of Europe and our membership are concerned, I would say the following: if we are admitted, we will be grateful, if not – we will be ok with that,” he said.
Belarus and Austria have agreed to continue working together in international organizations, the Belarusian leader states.
Lukashenka highlighted Austria’s effort to support Minsk in improving its relations with the European Union. According to him, the two countries want the Eastern Partnership initiative to be an integral, flexible and effective instrument of cooperation in the region.
He also said that a number of new Belarusian-Austrian projects worth in total over $1 bn might be launched.