MINSK, 20 November (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has stressed he is an internationalist, who advocates peace and accord between nations and representatives of various religions. He made the relevant statement as he talked to reporters as part of the visit to the agricultural machinery company OAO Gomselmash on 20 November, BelTA has learned.
Asked to comment on the opposition's virtually branding the Belarusian government as fascists, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “As for fascism, this label will in no way stick to me. Because I am an internationalist. You can see my policy. I've always been proud of the fact that there are no quarrels or contradictions between different nationalities in Belarus. And the country is home to about 100 nationalities. I've always been proud that religious confessions in Belarus are at peace. I've always said that everyone should find their road to the temple. It was my slogan before the election and during the election. This is why I am not a nationalist while fascism is the supreme form of nationalism. A die-hard nationalist can be a fascist. I am not one of them.”
“I don't walk with fascist white-red-white flags. I openly say it is a fascist symbol. Do you remember who put the question up for a referendum? I did back when we had white-red-white flags that nationalists had lobbied for,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked. “I was absolutely against it. But once I was elected the country's president, I immediately put the choice of the symbols up for a referendum. An overwhelming majority supported the current state symbols. You cannot blame me for it.”
“And then there were no portraits of Lukashenko under white-red-white flags but there were Hitler's portraits under such flags. We show it. Who could have thought that the Yanka Kupala theater, which was decorated with white-red-white flags during the war, will be decorated with these flags this year? Are you telling me I had to tolerate it in the center of Minsk? We will remove these fascist symbols from our society and we will do it beautifully. While explaining that such flags must not be used. Our country suffered more than any other one during the war,” the head of state added.
Reporters also mentioned that Sunday after Sunday the opposition comes up with new slogans and sometimes definitely crosses the line. “There is no revolution without slogans. A revolution needs slogans. But don't be mistaken. I've told you so many times there is no revolution here because there are no revolutionaries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “Those people that have fled the country and now stir up trouble via Telegram channels are living a good life over there. Those people that protest in streets over here are the people I have created with my own hands. These people earn 5-6 times as much as Gomselmash workers. They've tried to stage a small bourgeoisie revolution. They are no revolutionaries. Because the revolutionaries of the past, the revolutionaries I've studied were ready for anything. They knew they could perish, they believed in it.”
“Two months ago I said we were about to be invaded: NATO tanks and aircraft were deployed near the border… I switched the army to combat mode and moved half of it to Grodno where these flags were already hanging on balconies. Once I deployed the army over there, the flags were removed right away. We gave them a demonstration, a response,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “You understand now that they wanted to simply cripple us. You've heard the statements later on: we need not only Grodno Oblast but entire Belarus. Such statements were made in Poland. And after all that these infamous protesters march with these flags upon instructions from those centers, Telegram channels and the rest in order to stir up trouble in our country. What was I to do? I exercised patience. I restrained the military, I didn't even deploy army units in Minsk.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the opposition had failed its blitzkrieg and many people have already appreciated it and call for the restoration of order.
“You always have to exercise patience. As long as you can. Once they started meddling with the railway signal system, my decision was conclusive – they are terrorists,” he said.
“[Maintaining stability and order in the country] is my job. We will sort things out. But we have to talk to people, explain, tell them what we have now and what we will have,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.