MINSK, 2 July (BelTA) - The Belarusian ethnos was the backbone of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus and Samogotia, a unique state for its time, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting in the run-up to Independence Day in Minsk on 2 July, BelTA has learned.
"We carefully treat the historical memory of each era, the events of which forged the spiritual basis of the nation, tempered the will and character of the Belarusians. We are proud of the chronicle of the Principality of Polotsk, one of the three state-forming centers of Ancient Russia. The names of our compatriots who were born in this holy land - Rogneda, Vseslav the Sorcerer, Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Francysk Skaryna and Simeon of Polotsk – have been forever inscribed in the history of the East Slavic Middle Ages," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president stressed: "It is important for us to remember that the Belarusian ethnos was the backbone of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, a unique state association for its time. It was the first Belarusian state. It was the defensive alliance with the Baltic tribes, where the Slavs taught them how to read, introduced them to the philosophy of Christianity.