MINSK, 16 January (BelTA) – Despite its humble position on the world map Belarus can afford pursuing an independent foreign and domestic policy. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the presidential reception held on the occasion of the Old New Year on 16 January, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko admitted he had never been happier to meet with guests of the celebration. “This year has forced us to look at the world and at our place in it with very wide open eyes. On the one hand, 2020 put masks on us. On the other hand, it removed and tore off masks from some. We came to know each other better. Unfortunately, we became disillusioned about some people. But then we saw some people as a pillar to rely on. We saw Belarusians, who stayed true to honor and conscience at an acute historical moment. It is particularly valuable in our pragmatic age,” the head of state stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that a couple of years ago in this very hall he cautioned that the Belarusian state would face trials and would have to prove whether it deserved its independence or not. “Time has tested us and has given an answer: we deserve it on the whole. They actually declared a war on us in 2020. It was launched not against the president, civil servants, and security agencies but against the powerful state as a whole. A state, which can afford pursuing an independent foreign and domestic policy despite its humble position on the world map,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. “If we had been weak, they would have dealt with us without these events and without the war. If we were strong, let's say, strong like China, they would not make such complaints about us. Although China has encountered quite some pressure: do you remember events in Hong Kong?”
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the sovereignty of a country is unthinkable without a strong authority. “It is very important at a time when we've come close to reworking our Constitution. A strong authority is more than one person. It is a nation, which is ready to unite when the state is threatened. We've survived (for now) because we were united in our desire to preserve peace and historical truth, our way of life and mentality. We didn't accomplish it right away. It took us quite some time to get things going,” the Belarusian leader said. “This is why the declared Year of People's Unity is not only a future task but an irrefutable fact and our answer to ill-wishers: Belarusians have been and will be one people.”
During the reception Aleksandr Lukashenko bestowed orders, medals, and presidential thanks on civil servants, artists, and mass media workers.
Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich was awarded an Order of Fatherland, 2nd degree. Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova and Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Karanik received Orders of Fatherland, 3rd degree. Chairwoman of the National Statistics Committee Inna Medvedeva and Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich were awarded Orders of Honor.
A special reporter of the TV channel STV Grigory Azaryonok was awarded a Medal for Courage. An observer of the publishing house Belarus Segodnya Andrei Mukovozchik and Chief Advisor of the Belarus President Press Service Valery Shulga were awarded Medals for Labor Services. An editor of the publishing house Belarus Segodnya Dmitry Kryat and a special reporter of the TV channel ONT Igor Tur were awarded Medals of Francysk Skaryna.