MINSK, 8 July (BelTA) – Officers are the backbone of the state's security, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a ceremony to honor graduates of higher military schools and top officers in Minsk on 8 July, BelTA has learned.
“I believe that our meeting is an event of state importance, because officers are a pillar of the state and, first of all, its security. Officers are expected to comply with high standards. And in modern conditions, devotion to duty, intelligence, and professional competence are of particular importance. Therefore, I see you as patriots, people of honor and duty, and highly qualified specialists, commanders and chiefs capable of resisting any aggressive actions against Belarus,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this is particularly important in light of ongoing developments around the country and in the entire world. “We are witnessing a gradual and consistent collapse of the international security architecture. And, to put it straight, it is already non-existent. Multilateral global platforms designed to maintain peace and security on the planet have degraded and demonstrate inability to effectively perform their functions,” the head of state said.
The president also pointed to the aggravation of geopolitical tensions between East and West. “The strategic rivalry of the world's powers threatens to spiral into a different, more dangerous phase. At the same time, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is increasingly building up its offensive potential. NATO drills are constantly held in the immediate vicinity of our borders. The rapid deployment forces are being beefed up and intelligence activities have increased. A terrorist attack on Belarus has begun,” the president said.
The head of state noted that the economic sanctions and discriminatory political pressure on Belarus have been mounting.
“The conclusion is absolutely obvious. The collective West continues to strive to establish its hegemony and is not abandoning attempts to deprive us of sovereignty and to impose external control. Why us? Because we have been always on their way. We just found ourselves at the wrong time and in the wrong place not where they wanted us to be,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that this is happening in the year of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the bloodiest war in the history of the Belarusian people.
The head of state noted that the country is ready for honest, equal dialogue and cooperation with any country: “We do not want to be at war with anybody. This is not our goal. We are military men and know the value of peace. But we are not getting down on our knees. We cannot do what they want. We protect ourselves, our families, our children, our land. We do not want anything else.”
At the same time, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the country has something to respond with to those forces that are flexing their muscles on its western borders. To this end, the defense capacity of the state, based on the Armed Forces, is being reinforced. “The Belarusian army is mobile, well-equipped and capable of countering modern challenges and threats. At the very least, we can inflict an unacceptable damage to the enemy. Even our opponents admit that our army is one of the strongest in the region. Of course, its main value is people: officers, generals, soldiers, for whom the protection of their home, Belarus, is both a profession and a meaning of life,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this applies to representatives of all law enforcement agencies. “We all passed a tough test of strength in the summer and autumn of last year. We saw that the national security system passed that test. People in uniform, showing courage, resilience, loyalty to the oath and our people, held their ground,” he said.
At present, wars do not start with external aggression, the president pointed out. “Wars are started from inside, with clouding the minds of our people. A war will start from creating chaos in our country, and only after that, if needed, they will send in foreign troops. We have already discussed this. This is envisaged in our national security concept,” he added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko presented president's commendation letters to graduates of military educational institutions who excelled in their studies.
The head of state also conferred general ranks on some top officers. A major general military rank was awarded to head of the territorial defense department – Deputy Head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Andrei Matiyevich. Head of the Gomel Oblast branch of the Investigative Committee Sergei Udovikov got the special rank of major general of justice. Head of the Vitebsk Customs Service Pavel Lobachev was awarded the personal rank of the state customs counselor, 3rd class.
“There are few general's positions in Belarus. Being promoted to this rank is the highest achievement in the military career and something to be proud of. Dear generals, I want you to take pride in your rank and live up to it. As for you, dear graduates, you should follow their example in answering the call of duty and aspire to become generals as well,” Aleksandr Lukashenko told the participants of the ceremony.
The president also wished the officers strong health, prosperity, and success in their service to the Motherland as well as in personal life.
After the ceremony, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he had talked a lot about tasks of law enforcement agencies and that now it was time for a man-to-man talk. “There is no retreating. Last year, law enforcement officers raised the bar so high when they were defending our Motherland, that it will not be easy to keep it up. However, we are military people and – I would like to reiterate it – there is no retreating. Thank you for everything. Be brave, honest, and do not allow treachery in your ranks,” he stressed.