MINSK, 2 July (BelTA) – The independence of the Belarusian state has its roots in ancient times, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he attended the meeting ahead of Belarus' Independence Day on 2 July, BelTA has learned.
“Remembering the heroes of the war, we always hail their courage and willingness to give up their lives for the Motherland. We understand that the ordeals of the Great Patriotic War awakened unprecedented forces in people. But these forces were raised by the centuries-old history of unfree life of our distant ancestors,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
He noted that the independence of the Belarusian state has its roots in ancient times, in the mists of time: in the aspirations of the Principality of Polotsk for political and economic independence, in the progressive medieval laws on the Belarusian land, in scientific and spiritual works, in the political successes of compatriots – outstanding representatives of different historical eras.
But it so happened that for almost a thousand years the right to express the popular will on the Belarusian land belonged exclusively to the crowned persons. “It was only in the 20th century that people found a fateful answer to the eternal question ‘Who goes there?' In the harsh conditions of the three revolutions, the First World War and the Civil War, the Belarusian people took to the historical stage - wise and hardy, true protectors and guardians of the Motherland. These people were de facto masters of their land, because during all wars and battles (which were many) they selflessly stood up for their Motherland and always knew who the enemy was. Even without political independence, living for centuries in the conditions of cultural, confessional and political expansion, the people managed to preserve their ethnic identity and traditions,” the president stressed.
The head of state noted that this is what independence is about – inner freedom that lives in the heart. According to him, it helps people to keep in touch with their ancestors, their native land, to preserve their national identity, faith and language. “The Belarusian people always chose the historical path with their heart and thus proved that they deserved the sovereign right to decide their own destiny,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
The president noted that today Belarusians are building an independent country on the international political arena. “The country is modern and unique, a blend of Western and Eastern European cultures. These are our common historical heritage,” he noted. “The fact that during the years of independence we have managed to preserve the harmony of different traditions and languages in the society, learned to accept and appreciate the achievements of different historical epochs, to respect each other's confessional choices speaks about the national and political maturity of our people. We are ready to finally build our independent country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that the country's centuries-old history predetermined the spiritual closeness of Belarusians with the sister nation, the multifaceted nature of foreign economic and foreign policies. “We are not only the historical but also the modern center of Europe. For a quarter of a century we have grown into a culturally and spiritually united, independent Belarusian nation,” the president said.