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16 February 2024, 14:07

Lukashenko speaks on detention of saboteurs, opponents’ claim to Belarus’ western regions

MINSK, 16 February (BelTA) – At the general meeting of the Belarusian national union of consumer societies Belkoopsoyuz on 16 February, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the detention of saboteurs and the opponents’ claim to the western lands of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that there is a reason why he sets increasingly tougher tasks for ministries and demands efficiency from personnel. The main thing is to remain vigilant, taking into account the situation around the country and other factors.

“You see what is happening around us. You don’t know the full picture. I’ll give you some general information without going into details. We will put out more information soon. Today everyone in the West, with our self-exiled opposition in the vanguard, wants Russia’s defeat in the war with Ukraine,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko cited some quotes from the negotiations between the self-exiled opposition and some individuals in the West: “Poland has the right to claim the western lands of Belarus. And in the event of Russia’s defeat, Belarus will expand its territory at the expense of the western lands of Russia.”

“In other words, some territories of Smolensk Oblast, Bryansk Oblast, maybe Pskov Oblast are to be cut off and become part of Belarus. And we must cede western Belarus (up to Minsk; as you know, it used to be a border area) to Poland. They present it as ‘the new democratic government holding talks’ in the West,” explained the head of state. “Which of you can agree with this? Maybe someone can, but I totally reject it. We will fight for our lands as long as we breathe. Moreover, we don’t cause problems for anyone. We don't owe anything. We don't claim Vilno, or Bialystok region, or Russian or Ukrainian lands. We are fine with the land that we got over the course of history. These are our Belarusian lands,” the president said.

Detention of saboteurs on the Ukrainian border

Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the recent developments near the border with Ukraine: “I was briefed in the morning that several saboteurs were detained on the Ukrainian border today. Some Ukrainian citizens crawled through the swamps into our territory using drones. They brought explosives to commit sabotage operations, primarily on the territory of Russia and Belarus. A counter-terrorist operation has just ended, you haven’t even noticed it. This is good. You should not worry about it. You should work calmly, do your job. The KGB military operation has just wrapped up. All the saboteurs were detained. Belarusians were among them."

According to the head of state, this is not an isolated incident: “This happens almost two or three times a week.”

Importance of people's support

The head of state noted that complacency cannot be allowed in such a situation. “It is very important for us – for me as the president and for the government – to have the support of our people and to stay united. We are decision-makers. Everything depends on us. If we are united as a monolith, the people will be united as a monolith, too. After all, the overwhelming majority of Belarusians have understood what could have happened and what should not be allowed to happen. Therefore, I am constantly telling the authorities not to lower their guard, because otherwise we will lose the country.”

“If anyone thinks that we will be better off divided and scattered, they are mistaken. If it was so good in the 1920s-1930s [when some regions of Belarus were part of Poland], we would not have fought for our independence,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “So let’s do everything to maintain peace on this land. We need a strong economy for that. And you [Belkoopsoyuz] are a huge part of our economy – you provide services to 30% of the population. Think about it. Hence my tough approach to addressing many issues, from education and healthcare to trade,” the head of state added. 
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