MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) – Neither the country's president nor other government agencies will make decisions on important matters on their own without the nation's approval. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he made a number of personnel appointments on 20 October, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We've said we will not give away the country. It means we won't. As long as I am the president, the Belarusian nation will make decisions. Only the people will make decisions. Not the president acting on his own, not the head of the presidential administration, not top-ranking officials or members of the parliament. They will not make decisions on their own. They will have to submit 10, 20, 30 problems to the people and let the nation decide. We will abide by the will of the nation.”
He continued: “If all of a sudden Belarusians decide they want to be part of NATO as the protesters suggest, they will go to NATO. If the nation decides to cut the country into pieces and give them away, the country will rest in pieces. But if the nation decides that we have to live in a peaceful, calm, quiet, and cultural country, it means we will live in such a country. None of the so-called elite should have misconceptions that we are resorting to tricks and will forge the new Constitution through deception. It won't happen. Only people should make decisions like that. These are critical times. If people want something different than the policy we've been following, they are free to try it.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Ukrainians and Russians are of the opinion that people in Belarus had not been scared enough, that Belarusians had not experienced a worse life and this is why it seemed to them that everything can be accomplished easily. “Nothing will fall from the sky. The older generations and even people of your age – 35, 40-50 years – understand that it is necessary to work as hard as possible in order to live well. We don't have access to easy money. We have to earn everything with our own hands. I want you to deliver the message to every man and woman,” the president said. “Although there is but a handful of those people over there [citizens intent on staging protests in the regions]. There may be a dozen or two of so-called smart people at Naftan. They certainly don't shape the development of the enterprise but they need to clearly understand things. What kind of appeals are those? Don't buy Belarusian products? Don't pay taxes? Stop Belarusian enterprises?”
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he had previously cautioned against stopping the operation of manufacturing enterprises. He referred to MZKT as an example. “I've been to MZKT. Feel free to stop the enterprise. Belarus can do without MZKT. The enterprise sells probably 15% of its output in Belarus. The rest is exported. Once you stop the enterprise, nobody will talk to you tomorrow. What will you do after that? How many people work at MZKT? About 5,000-6,000. Multiply it by four – 20,000 people together with families. Who will feed the kids?”
“Those who are far away from Belarus and are well-supplied by you know who can easily make such suggestions. This is why people have to clearly understand our point of view. Everything will be the way they decide. It is my unfaltering fundamental stance. I want you to understand it,” the head of state noted.
Simultaneously Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out: “It doesn't mean I will sit idle and wait for my demise and then yours. No, there are common constitutional principles. A government needs to act like a government.”
Addressing the newly appointed executives of enterprises located in the regions, Aleksandr Lukashenko warned they will have a hard time because they will have to work face-to-face with people. “This is why you will have to talk to them. You don't have to try to convince anyone. There is no sense. The more we try to convince them, the stronger mistrust will be. You have to explain things to people: life today is complicated, we are a poor country but on par with others,” he said. “We now have an opportunity. For instance, Ukrainians often speak on Belarusian television and explain things. If you want to work harder, feel free to work, you will earn more. If you want to work less, you will earn less. But you are not being bombarded with artillery shells. Quite a number of people have come from Ukraine's Donbass to settle down in Belarus, kids have been born here. It is what matters in the end! This is why you just have to explain alternatives to people and let them choose.”
“We will get to it. We will pass the Constitution. We will elect the president and the parliament. We will elect municipal councils of deputies soon. We will come to terms with those willing to negotiate and we will make decisions,” the Belarusian leader concluded.