MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia are self-sufficient enough to survive any sanctions, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota in Minsk on 18 February, BelTA has learned.
“There are continuous attempts to intimidate Russia, just like us, with some kind of sanctions. I lived in the Soviet era. I know what a state plan is and how things are planned. I thought, God, why are we fretting about it? We can make a plan and provide ourselves with everything we need, except for a couple of component parts. However, we will be able to launch their production in Belarus and Russia within 3-5 years. We have great scientific potential! And if we did this, Ukraine would gradually join us, to say nothing of Kazakhstan and nearer countries. Therefore, the number one task is to reach an agreement and provide our fatherland with everything necessary,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that the countries can successfully cooperate in virtually all areas, be it space, biotechnology, electric cars, etc. “We can do everything. Liberals managed to convince us once that the market will regulate itself. No way,” the Belarusian leader said.
To illustrate his point, the president mentioned Japan and China, the countries that draft thousands of plans and all kinds of balance sheets. These are not only indicative plans, these plans are based on the situation on the ground. The second thing is iron discipline. The head of state recalled a conversation he had with a Japanese at the Winter Olympics in Nagano. This man shared his opinion on why Japan differs from the post-Soviet countries. “He said: in our country only one person makes a decision and 99 people execute it without discussion. But in your countries, 99 people contemplate and make a decision, and one has to do this all. This was said by a Japanese. This is also about discipline - once they agree on something, they will definitely accomplish it. The same in China. That is why they are the world's leading economies. We can do it, too” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He believes, there is no need to worry too much about sanctions. “Okay, let them go ahead and impose them. However, in this case they will have to sell their goods at home, not on our 150-million strong market. A huge amount of goods is sold through Belarus and Russia. Therefore, it is clear who will lose from this move. Yet, we are lamenting: oh, sanctions, we will crumble ...No, we will not! Sergei Lavrov [Russian foreign minister] minced no words saying it, well done! Do not even try to start some kind of war against us. We can retaliate. If we want peace, we really should prepare for war. Of course, we do not want to fight, we do not need it, we are fed up with it. Nevertheless, you see what is happening around,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian head of state noted that these issues should be discussed at the Supreme State Council as well. “We need to start working on it offline. We need to take advantage of the situation. The situation is not simple, but it is a situation of opportunities. If we pick up steam, we will work better,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president emphasized that Belarus did not go into a national lockdown and did not put the economy on hold. This is one of the reasons for a significant growth in the manufacturing industry in January. “This is not because we are great, but because many countries suffered an economic disruption. Therefore, there are good things that can benefit us immensely,” the head of state added.