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16 December 2022, 12:29

Lukashenko: Before sanctions Russians had no idea what Belarus was capable of

MINSK, 16 December (BelTA) – Before the sanctions were imposed against Belarus and Russia, the Russians had no idea what the Belarusians were capable of and how high-tech the country was, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to review Belarus-Russia cooperation in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Speaking about the Union State programs, the president stressed that they must be implemented. No program infringes on the sovereignty and independence of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We must remain strongly committed to our bilateral agreements,” the Belarusian leader said addressing Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Snopkov.

According to him, today no one doubts that the two countries needed these programs as a strategic path: “The programs have specific and, most importantly, applied values and are designed to reduce the negative effect of the illegitimate Western sanctions, ensure the development of key sectors of the economy, deepen industrial cooperation and help implement new import-substituting projects.”

“Well, in truth, before the sanctions craze, the Russians did not even know what the Belarusians were capable of: the country is not as big as Russia, and not even as big as Kazakhstan or Iran. They thought that Belarus probably produced food, potatoes, etc. When the sanctions were imposed and we and the Russians had to find a way out of some situations, they saw that Belarus is a high-tech country and produces everything one might need for life today. Even if it does not produce something, it can start doing so within two to six months,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, this approach works well even towards complex industries such as the military-industrial complex and the defense sector. Programs have been outlined there, and their implementation will enable Belarus to declare itself as an extremely effective state.

The president said that the government constantly reports to him about the considerable work that has been done to create a legal framework for cooperation with Russia to develop these strategic programs. “I expect to hear clear answers from you: what has been agreed, what progress we have, what areas have problems. It is important to voice all these issues in the presence of the Russian delegation. If we have made some mistakes, then we must say so and admit this. If the Russian side has failed to do something, we must also talk about it,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“Is it likely that the signed agreements will remove all the obstacles in the way of our goods, and a truly level playing field will be created for business entities?” the head of state asked.

Along with the implementation of the approved Union State programs, the president pointed out the importance of identifying a range of future tasks for the next set of roadmaps. “We are going to implement these 28 programs. But we will probably get only halfway there. What is next? With these Union State programs we must see the light at the end of the tunnel, what we will have tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, in some 10-15 years. The decisions we make should stem from life and be dictated by the challenges we face in the social and humanitarian sectors,” said the Belarusian leader.

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