MINSK, 20 July (BelTA) – Traitors will be severely punished in Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss Belarus' current foreign policy priorities on 20 July, BelTA has learned.
“Let me be straightforward: we will not play nice with traitors. Those who have gone astray and cannot find their way back should keep it in mind. All those who failed to live up to the high standards of a diplomat were deprived of their ranks. This will continue to be so. Tough, but fair,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, every time new appointments to the diplomatic service are discussed, the president is persuaded that the ministry hires the best. “I have a question then: how come some decided to sit out, wait until the storm subsides? One thing is clear: it will not do. Either you stand with the people, the country, the president who you represent there and who appoints you, or the country does not need you. Sorry for mincing no words. Other people will come for whom the words ‘Fatherland' and ‘Independence' mean something. I know that many diplomats, to put it mildly, got confused, succumbed to the hysteria that was being whipped up in Telegram channels and foreign media. By the way, perturbations like in the diplomatic service were not observed in any other government agency,” the president said.
The head of state noted that some heads of diplomatic missions let things slide in their teams and openly sided with the rebels: “These people are well known to you. Former ambassadors to Argentina (Astapenko), Spain (Pustovoi), Slovakia (Leshchenya), Latvia (Markovich), former heads of foreign missions in Switzerland (Matsukevich), Dubai (Bondarev). To say nothing of Latushko who spent 17 out of 21 years of his diplomatic service abroad. Let me remind you that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs insisted on giving him a new job abroad. I wonder who he would work for if he got this job?”
On the other hand, the president went on, there are those who spoke up for their country, gave interviews to foreign media outlets, and helped Belarusians return to their homeland. “These are ambassadors to Russia (Semashko), Ukraine (Sokol), India (Rzheussky), Indonesia (Kolesnik), Egypt (Terentyev) and a number of others,” the president listed.
“Many of our diplomats chose not to stick their heads out, trying to weather the storm in the quiet of cozy offices. I warn you: it will not work,” the Belarusian leader added.
In this regard, he instructed the prime minister, the head of the Belarus President Administration and the minister of foreign affairs to scrutinize personnel working at the Belarusian diplomatic service.