MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko identified possible domestic reasons for protests in the country in a recent interview with Russian mass media, BelTA has learned.
According to the head of state, there are domestic factors that contribute to protests in Belarus, however, they are not many. There are no classic reasons for a revolution, Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “The Belarusian economy works more or less well. The agriculture will produce an excellent harvest this year. Despite the pandemic we will still add 7% to the agricultural output this year on top of the already existing high figure. We didn't shut down enterprises during the pandemic. We had our own method of fighting it. Our GDP dropped by only 1.2%. We are working as hard as we can to reduce the decline to zero by the end of the year. We may accomplish the goal. This is why there are no classic reasons like the economy has stopped, people are unemployed, people don't' get paid, and the rest.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the real income of the population rose by 5.4% in H1 2020 and by about 7% in 2019. Meanwhile, the income is falling in Russia. “Because you've shut down enterprises and didn't work,” the head of state explained.
Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that domestic reasons behind the turmoil in Belarus are personal. “Maybe I've been in the presidential office for too long. During the pre-election campaign I was saying that Lukashenko was everywhere. Maybe some people got tired of it,” he assumed.
However, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is not the key reason. He explained that events in Belarus look like a revolution of small bourgeoisie. “We now have small bourgeoisie, rich people, we have IT specialists, whom I've granted the kind of conditions that no other country can grant. Why can't they? Because it is a calm, quiet, and stable country. And no taxes. It doesn't get better than that. These people live well. Go for a ride across Minsk's outskirts and see what mansions they live in. Definitely not the palaces that one can find around Moscow, but then Moscow is one of a kind. But those Belarusians live in good homes, clean and accurate ones. What else did they want? They wanted power. And so on and so forth. It is the deep root of the conflict. It is a domestic reason,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.
The president stated he had been trying to make private companies appear in the country. “When I was working in agriculture, I was the reason behind the emergence of the first nine private farmers in the Soviet Union. I gave them lands and the rest. And Mikhail Gorbachev praised me, a snotty kid, for it back then,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
“People say I've been in the presidential office for too long… I feel it. Many say it. Let's forget my person. Why would a voter refuse to vote for President Lukashenko? Due to emotions? Due to Lukashenko staying on the job for too long? I am an experienced man, a healthy man, I can still work, my brain is in place. Yes, the fact that I've been the president for a quarter of the century would be at the back of my mind. But then I would make such smart decisions… Young people can't appreciate it. They've come to believe I've overstayed my welcome, Lukashenko has 3%,” the president noted. “This is why people say different things. Yes, Lukashenko has been in power for a long time. I respond: do you know what happened in post-Soviet republics, in the Caucasus in particular, when new people rose to power? They destroyed everything and Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the rest called for old people, who were even older than me. Those people saved them. It is what one should think when one sees these examples.”