To remain an independent state, Belarus should be able to stand up for itself, Alyaksandr Lukashenka stressed at the meeting in the run-up to the country’s Independence Day.
In his speech, the Belarusian leader responded to critics of the controversial law on draft deferment. According to him, it is necessary to fight in times of peace for the world.
“Everyone must defend the motherland, the native country. Everyone, particularly men. We are now so brazen that we’ve started shifting the problem onto women, too. This must not happen in Belarus! The woman should be responsible for her own things while every man should provide for the family and protect the motherland, his family, and his woman,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Alyaksandr Lukashenka as saying.
In his opinion, the law is now being criticized by those who earlier furiously spoke for Belarus’ independence. At the moment, the critics are set to split the society into two groups: ordinary citizens, who will defend the country, and others who will study, work and live abroad, but not to fight for their homeland, Lukashenka believes.
Currently, there are three scenarios, he said. Seeking NATO protection is one of them.
“If we strongly ask for it, they will promise it to us. And those, who make comments on the Internet, would accept it with pleasure. Do you want this option? I don’t,” Aleksandr Lukashenka stressed.
Belarus’ merger with Russia is another way to resolve the situation, the president added:
“We can ask them to protect us – the nuclear umbrella, hypersonic weapons and what not. We can ask and we can make a deal. I think it will be enough for our generation at least. We will let the children deal with it later,” the head of state noted sarcastically. “Do you want to become part of Russia so that it could protect us? You don’t. Neither do I.”
So, there is nothing left for Belarusians but defending themselves using their own resources, he concluded.
On June 26, the lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament adopted in the first reading the draft Law “On Amendments to the Laws on the Effective Functioning of the Military Organization of the State”.
The amendments are the following: one could obtain deferment of call-up due to studies only once; it would be impossible to enter a university after college or specialized school, or start a Master’s programme without taking a break for serving in the Armed Forces.
The bill also provides for blocking the access to public service to the persons who failed to serve in the Belarusian army (and did not have a serious cause). They will also be barred from developing career paths in the Investigative Committee, the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Emergency Situations, financial agencies of the State Control Committee, the State Committee for Legal Enquiries. Interestingly, the State Security Committee (KGB) is not on the list.
The fact of not receiving a military subpoena by a conscript might not be an excuse anymore if the amendments are made. If one fails to appear before the draft board or take part in reserve duty trainings, they will be considered draft dodgers. Such persons may be banned from leaving Belarus for any other country.
More than 10,000 people signed the petition against the draft law.