POLOTSK, 12 June (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko talked to local residents and representatives of the media when on a working trip to Polotsk on 12 June, BelTA has learned.
Citizens were waiting for the head of state near the Polotsk city administration where Aleksandr Lukashenko held a meeting on the development of the housing and utilities sector.
The head of state spoke about the current epidemiological situation. On the one hand Vitebsk Oblast faced this problem earlier than other regions. On the other, those who fell sick can no longer fear either the second or third waves, as they acquired the immunity. “We will survive this," the president assured.
People asked Aleksandr Lukashenko various questions and made private requests. The president instructed to examine all of them and provide the necessary assistance. Among them was the request from a mother with many children, and also requests to help solve household problems.
A journalist of the Mir TV channel asked the head of state about the events around Gazprom's bank in Belarus.
“To be honest, I have not gotten to the bottom of it. I do not know in detail what is going on there. But I have instructed the chairman of the State Control Committee and its financial investigation department to look into it. Now operational and investigative measures are being undertaken,” the head of state said.
“Even you, as a journalist, have probably seen these illegal actions of a foreign bank in Belarus. We have seen it, too. Naturally, you know what the rules are: no one has the right to engage in dishonest affairs, including this bank,” the president stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that on the way to Polotsk in a helicopter he got familiar with the main materials regarding the bank and the statements. “What struck me most is that this scoundrel, I cannot call him otherwise, says: I have nothing to do with this. They are the ones to blame,” said the head of state.
“Look, they were not only his deputies. They are one gang. We have seen this happening since 2016. We have seen it. Why do you blame it all on them today. You was the leader, they were your deputies. Could everything that happened out there be performed without a leader? No,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
According to him, there is evidence that “it was his intentions, he set up these structures like Privatleasing”.
“We have worked on this bank and on them since 2016. We have detected capital flight, foreign accounts, foreign ownership in Cyprus, accounts in Latvia, London. Our foreign colleagues provided us with the information (that we had required since 2016) only in December 2019. Law enforcement bodies have stepped up activities on the matter,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested asking the person why he had decided to join the presidential race. “When you have skeletons in your closet, do not even try to do this. People will bring you into the open anyway. Why did he decide to do that? He understood that he would have been arrested otherwise. Not they see it as advantageous to engage in politics today, to be a prisoner of conscience. That is why he has decided to do so. This won't help him,” said the Belarusian leader.
The head of state added that this person is now “shouting that the authorities are putting pressure”. “I swear to God, I do not need such things during the ongoing election campaign. Otherwise, they will be shouting that I am afraid of someone,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
“I am not afraid of anybody! This situation brings no benefits to me. These scoundrels, however, had to be stopped, because they started hiding their ends, though it did not work,” the president said.
According to the president, around 15 people have been detained. “But this person does not understand one thing. When detained, his accomplices told everything. In two hours they compensated $14,000, then in another hour - $600,000 or $800,000. They brought gold bars, paintings. They brought it all, so that we let them be. We have treated them well. They are talking. This is why he will have to tell all this himself, too,” the head of state said.
“And I want him to get nominated. So that he comes and tells everyone, where his property in Cyprus came from, how he managed to acquire it in ‘Lukashenko's dictatorship', why a foreign bank managed it… He should tell Belarusians all of this. Let them decide afterwards. But we will not make him a prisoner of conscience,” the president said.
He stressed that in this case Belarus will invite Interpol and foreign specialists to analyze the documents related to the investigation. “[I will invite] Russians, Americans, Europeans and give them the documents. Let them make conclusions whether our law enforcement agencies acted in line with our legislation. And everybody will be held accountable under the legislation, go to prison if needed. Everyone is equal before the law,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
“Do not think that this is some attack from Lukashenko. There is no attack. I do not even need this now,” the president remarked.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that he asked one member of the government to tell the person in question: “The truth and only the truth! And return everything you have stolen to the people. Maybe the court will take this into account”. “I also instructed the chairman of the State Control Committee, who is dealing with all this, to tell the people everything as it is. So that they do not think that this is some made-up case. We do not need this,” the president said.