GOMEL, 25 November (BelTA) – At the meeting to discuss the development of the agricultural industry of Gomel Oblast on 25 November Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko explained what freedom and independence mean for the Belarusian people, BelTA has learned.
“Believe me, we are living in a crunch time: either we retain our state, or we need to consider other options, but count me out in the latter case. We have been nurturing our state for 30 years because we wanted our children to live freely, independently. If someone understands this freedom and independence (this does not apply to you, but to our people in general) as an opportunity to do whatever they want or not to do anything at all – this is not going to happen in any country. Freedom and independence mean having opportunities,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.
The president noted that he was raised in a very humble environment, in the hardest years. “Back then people (adults, including my mother) dreamed of their children getting a decent education, having the same opportunities as children of ministers, colonels, generals, professors, academicians, and so on. Have we not succeeded in achieving such a situation? We have. Even more than that. Being fully aware of the state of things in rural schools, we introduced employer-sponsored programs for graduates of rural schools. Anyone who wants to get education can do it. There was nothing like that in the Soviet Union. We provide even greater support to children from remote villages, especially from the areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster,” the head of state said.
“What else do you need? If you want to live under someone's yoke, go ahead and do it. But in this case no one will bother to talk to you in such a manner. They will take a whip and you will run ahead. You will turn up your toes, and suffer a serious setback. This already happened to us 80 years ago: they tried to demonstrate their treatment. And they delivered such a heavy blow on Belarus that we still feel the aftermath. We are at a pivotal point. You in Gomel Oblast know how it feels, because this is happening next to you. Yet, this is just a taste of what could come. I don't want our children to have to take a gun and go to defend their country. I absolutely don't want it. If any of you want it, stand up and say and we will give you what you need to do it. I believe it's better that we gird our loins, work hard and and produce results,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.