MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) – Western partners should not repeat mistakes of the past, i.e. try to foment revolutions in Belarus, Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA informs.
The journalist asked the minister to comment on the conduct of Belarus' Western neighbors, which is no longer seen just as interference in the country's domestic affairs, but consistent efforts to destabilize the situation. This pertains, in particular, to the actions of Poland and Lithuania.
“We have never said or done anything to undermine our relations with other states, first of all, with our neighbors. We just have to respond to those destructive statements and concrete actions that are being taken in relation to Belarus by our Western neighbors,” Vladimir Makei noted.
He emphasized that Belarus dismisses the claims made against it as absolutely unacceptable. “Moreover, they harm the development of the state, statehood and society. Therefore, we are forced to respond to this. It raises eyebrow that our partners are trying to exploit ethnic, cultural and historical factors. They are ready to pull any strings in order to remove the unwanted regime. Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past. The regime is strong, robust, and it will withstand. Therefore, it is necessary to build relationship with it taking this into consideration. They should not strive to stage any revolutions here. This will not lead to anything good. Moreover, this will definitely lead, if the situation continues to escalate, to the disappearance of the civil society that our European partners are so concerned about,” the foreign minister said.
Vladimir Makei noted that such a policy towards Belarus by some countries is not widely popular even among their own population.
“Someone might sneer, but the number of applications sent from Western countries to obtain Belarusian citizenship has increased. We are now processing this information and will report the results to higher-level officials so that a possibility to ease this procedure for these applicants will be considered. I understand why this is happening. First of all, the pandemic played a role. No citizen of a Western country would go to some unstable or unsafe country. Therefore, these applications were submitted for a good reason,” Vladimir Makei said.
He emphasized that Belarus will respond to destructive actions, but will never do anything to sow discord between nations. “We are interested in promoting all-round cooperation, first of all, with the countries, which, as the Belarus president says, were destined to be our neighbors. However, of course, we will not disregard the destructive actions that our partners are trying to take on the external circuit,” the minister said.
Vladimir Makei commented on the attempts to glorify war criminals and the participation of representatives of Poland in such activities: “'Stupid' might not be the right word to describe their actions in Belarus; it is just beyond my comprehension that someone could have thought of doing this in our country that lost a third of its population during World War II. In their view, the people who they honored here are heroes, but Belarus has enough grounds to consider them criminals. It is clear that we were forced to take tough action in response - several consular officials who participated in such events were asked to leave.”
According to the minister, when Belarus started to dig deeper, it found out that more than 500 ‘firms' in Belarus, having found a loophole in the legislation, were engaged in so-called educational activities. “In fact, they used those patterns, rules that are absolutely alien to our society. We will have to study this issue further and put our legislation into shape and eliminate such loopholes,” the foreign minister said.
Moreover, there is clear evidence that a number of structures and specific individuals were engaged in destructive activities and received funding from abroad. “Now the Prosecutor General's Office and the Investigative Committee are dealing with this issue. We will respond very harshly to all manifestations of the glorification of Nazism, fascism and their accomplices,” Vladimir Makei stressed.