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26 March 2024, 14:20

Lukashenko: Belarus is a spacefaring nation

OSHMYANY, 26 March (BelTA) - The flight of a Belarusian cosmonaut to the ISS is not only about the country's image, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the media on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

“This is not only about the country’s image. This is a whole industry,” the president said. He added that the image of a country capable of training and launching a woman cosmonaut into space is also important. The head of state thanked Russia and personally Vladimir Putin for assistance provided in the preparation and organization of the Belarusian cosmonaut’s flight, as well as in addressing financial issues.

“They did a great job, included [a Belarusian] in their team [of cosmonauts], trained our spaceflight participants. Yesterday you could see how calm and confident our cosmonaut was,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that he had worries about Marina Vasilevskaya’s flight and that he had a conversation with the Roscosmos director general.

The president admitted that there was some anxiety when the launch was postponed due to technicalities. Aleksandr Lukashenko had once witnessed the failed launch of the Belarusian satellite BelKA. However, Roscosmos head Yury Borisov spoke with the Belarusian leader over the phone and told him what exactly happened. According to him, it was one of the batteries which failed, and the launch was automatically aborted. Yury Borisov assured the Belarusian president that additional checks had been carried out immediately after the incident.  

“Well, the launch did take place. The launch of a beautiful spacecraft is a spectacle which impresses me most,” he noted. “I rejoice together with you that we have reached the pinnacle in space. We have truly become a spacefaring nation.”

The president went on saying that Belarus has no plans to build its own cosmodrome or produce spacecraft, because in the current situation it is not expedient to do so. Belarus has an opportunity to implement its projects in cooperation with Russia. It is much more important to have national space programs and be able to build space satellites. Belarus possesses these technologies and is developing its competences.

“Our nation is gradually developing. We are doing our best to ensure no one calls us underdeveloped. We are a space nation and we did it thanks to the rightly chosen policy. We did not fight with Russians. We learned a lot from them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
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