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17 September 2023, 23:54

People's unity, negotiations with Putin, Turkish shoulder, final job for MPs in President's Week

Aleksandr Lukashenko
Aleksandr Lukashenko

The work schedule of the Belarus president is always full of events. Aleksandr Lukashenko holds conferences and working meetings on the most topical matters concerning the country's development, regularly visits the regions, goes on foreign trips and welcomes foreign guests, talks to reporters, signs decrees and laws. And even if there are no public events, it does not mean that the head of state does not work. It must be said that even when he relaxes, for instance, by playing ice hockey or chopping firewood, Aleksandr Lukashenko happens to find the time to give yet another instruction. All the decisions must be prompted by life, he likes to say.

The President's Week project is intended for those, who want to keep up with the head of state, be up-to-date on the latest statements and decisions of the Belarusian leader.

What does the president expect from cooperation with Türkiye? Will the countries be able to reach previously identified trade goals? What tasks is the current parliament supposed to achieve without leaving “a legacy” to the next one? Details of negotiations between Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin in Sochi: what needs to be finished within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia? What trilateral cooperation is possible? Total nonsense in statements by the West and dances around Ukraine.

Celebrations of People's Unity Day. Who did the head of state award ahead of the celebrations? What did he tell compatriots during a patriotic forum? What did he say in an address to neighboring nations? A key condition for preserving the state, peace, red and blue lines, vultures, the world's most peace-loving nation, and the impossibility of war. These and other details are covered by the latest episode of BelTA's special project President's Week.

FRIENDLY SHOULDER. Why is Türkiye interesting for Belarus and what agreement did Lukashenko recall?

The head of state started the work week with a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Türkiye to Belarus Mustafa Ozcan on 11 September.

This country is a long-standing partner of Belarus and the leaders have developed very friendly and trusting relations. For example, the fact that the presidents Aleksandr Lukashenko and Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the opening ceremony of the Cathedral Mosque in Minsk in November 2016 speaks for itself. And despite any political twists and turns in the region and the world, this cooperation is steadily developing. The countries are interested in each other. Politics, economy, tourism, humanitarian cooperation - interaction covers many spheres. Including such an important matter as the fight against fire elements - the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry's aviation regularly assists Turkish friends with extinguishing forest fires. And at the beginning of the year Belarus was one of the first countries that volunteered to help Türkiye overcome the consequences of a large-scale earthquake.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We have done a lot lately in terms of deepening relations between Belarus and Türkiye. However, there are still a number of unresolved issues in terms of our agreement with [Turkish President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But I think these issues are solvable. We have similar positions on many problems of international relations, including the crisis situation in Ukraine. We have spoken about it many times. Both Türkiye and Belarus maintain the stance in favor of a diplomatic resolution of this conflict.”

As for trade and economic relations, Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that the states once agreed to reach $1.5 billion in trade. “It seems to me we have more than $1 billion in mutual trade for the second year already. We need to reach this level. Moreover, we have such opportunities,” the Belarusian leader said.

The leaders of the two countries agreed to gradually increase trade turnover to $1.5 billion in 2019 following the visit of Aleksandr Lukashenko to Türkiye. The volume of mutual trade exceeded $1 billion in 2022. In January-July 2023 it amounted to almost $675 million.

The Belarusian head of state also praised the Turkish president's accomplishments in shaping an independent policy of the country: “We have a strong interest in your sovereign independent policy. You solve issues the way the Turkish people needs. Certainly, in this matter your president has exceeded, one could say, all expectations of the Turkish people.”

“We stand ready to do everything to contribute to the development of your country. We are not philanthropists. We also have to get and we do get the appropriate result. But we need to address the unresolved issues that we still have. We very much hope that in this complicated situation Türkiye will lend us a helping hand. I would like to discuss a number of matters that we will have to solve together with you in the near future,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

In turn, Mustafa Ozcan thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for the opportunity to meet to discuss items on both the bilateral and international agendas. He also conveyed warm greetings from the president of Türkiye and words of sincere gratitude to the Belarusian side for the assistance rendered after the earthquake in Türkiye in February 2023. “We were amazed by the solidarity of the Belarusian people, and we will never forget the help provided by the Belarusian people,” the head of the diplomatic mission emphasized.

While talking to reporters after the meeting with the president, Mustafa Ozcan expressed confidence that Türkiye and Belarus will undoubtedly reach $1.5 billion in trade, but so far this is hampered by external factors: “There are external factors that, unfortunately, are not helping us. But we are ready to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions.”

He noted that Türkiye is very closely connected with the Western world and Western institutions, and this has to be taken into account when developing relations with other countries. “Belarus is a very good partner and friendly country for Türkiye. We are bound by many years of trust in each other and mutual respect. There are no problems between our countries. There are certain issues that we intend to solve together,” Mustafa Ozcan said.

As a positive example of the development of relations with Belarus, he cited the joint Turkish-Belarusian research center that will open in Minsk soon. It will work on projects in culture and science.

THE WAY TO LIVE. Awards ahead of People's Unity Day

It has become a good tradition in Belarus to present awards to outstanding citizens on the eve of important state holidays and significant dates. After all, it is the personal achievements of every person that strengthen Belarus itself. Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed it out at the solemn ceremony held at the Palace of Independence on 12 September.

“Working in various fields, setting different goals, we achieve high results, which eventually become a common success, the success of our country. The more personal achievements we have, the stronger our Belarus is,” the head of state said.

Addressing participants of the ceremony, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted: “Every one of you personifies the best national traits of Belarusians. This is diligence, which is manifested in the desire to develop one's abilities, to constantly learn and grow professionally. This is patriotism, which we see in the desire to serve the Fatherland, readiness to stand up at any moment in defense of this Fatherland. By growing cereals, teaching and educating children, helping people with a difficult life, and saving lives you demonstrate responsibility, mercy and humanity of the Belarusian people - the main features of our nation. Your art reflects the beauty and harmony of our culture. Scientific achievements show the intellectual power, and sport victories show the strength of our nation's spirit.”

The head of state stressed that the day of the reunification of Belarus, its eastern and western parts - 17 September 1939 - has become a symbol of the national unity that will not fade over time. “But this experience tells us that it is equally important to be together in peacetime. To work for the good of our people and the Fatherland. If we mind our own business, we will fear nothing. And we will never have wars. Wars begin when people stop working, when people look for a wild and terrible job of killing each other. This is why I wish you to have your own jobs, to see your family, and to be able to defend children and grandchildren. We and the military will do our jobs if you do yours in peacetime.”

“We must live in such a way as never to repeat the mistakes of the past, to be strong in the face of new threats and challenges, to preserve our peaceful, amazingly beautiful Belarus for children and grandchildren. We must live in a way to avoid feeling shame later on before us and those who come after us,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko conferred the Order of Labor Glory on Nikolai Prokopchuk, professor of the Polymer Composite Materials Department of the Belarusian State Technological University, and Sergei Yefremenko, director of the production unitary enterprise Tsvetlit of the Belarusian Society of the Deaf. Aleksandr Podobed, electric fitter of Belkommunmash Company, was awarded the Order of Honor.

The Order of the Fatherland 3rd Class was conferred on Andrei Gurinovich, Head of the Medical Unit (Special Purpose) of the State Institution “432 Order of Red Star Main Military Clinical Medical Center of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus”, and Pavel Kharchenko, Head of the 14th Border Guard Unit of the Border Service.

Nikita Dedin, a police officer of the Luninets Division of the Security Services Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was awarded the Medal for Saved Life.

A number of honorary titles of the Republic of Belarus were also conferred.

ACCEPTABLE PROGRESS. What tasks does the president want the current parliament to accomplish?

After conferring government awards the president went back to routine matters. The same day, on 12 September Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko. The term of office of the current composition of the parliament is nearly over: citizens will elect a new parliament during a single voting day in February 2024. This is why now is the time to get together and discuss future work.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he had not noticed any shortcomings in the work of the current parliament so far. “But we are not summing up results of the parliament's work just yet. We will get back to it later. I should definitely visit the parliament after elections during the last session of this convocation,” he said.

The president noted it is necessary to discuss results of the ninth session and tasks for the tenth session of the current convocation of the parliament. “It is necessary to accomplish all the tasks facing our parliament. Because we shouldn't leave them to the new composition of the parliament. And after all, we can resolve problems, particularly in furtherance of our Constitution. It is necessary to pass all the laws. I'd like to hear what we have left. It seems we are doing quite well in this regard,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned the readiness to discuss other matters: “Members of the parliament may have some problems, requests. I am ready to respond. But on the whole, it seems to me that the core of the parliament is quite good. MPs are not afraid of meeting with people. We see leaders of the parliament in mass media. But naturally the next parliament will differ from the current one. Because it will have to deal with more global tasks and the situation is complicated.”

Since the present parliament is about to finish its work, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked Vladimir Andreichenko what he thought about the work of Belarusian MPs. The president said: “You have a lot of experience. You can compare things and say what has been done and what has not been done, what else needs doing. Although we will revisit the matter more than once in order to put together a normal composition of the future parliament. Yes, the nation will make decisions. The nation will elect them but the nation needs to be informed. It is necessary to inform the nation about the situation in detail. And about how the parliament has done its job. It is also necessary to remind people about functions of the parliament. Because it has been the way of life since Soviet times that people are accustomed to MPs taking care of roof repairs or fence repairs. We stopped doing that a long time ago. We have a small number of people in the parliament. And it makes laws. It is the key job of the parliament.”

Vladimir Andreichenko assured that the current composition of the House of Representatives intends to finalize and pass the maximum number of bills so that the MPs who will be elected in 2024 can smoothly enter the lawmaking process. One of the main directions of the parliamentarians' work during the previous sessions was to harmonize the national legislation with the updated Constitution. In the near future the House of Representatives will have to adopt a number of bills, which are already under consideration there: in particular, bills on notaries and notarial activity, insurance activity, licensing, public procurement, entrepreneurship.

GAINING ALTITUDE. What issues need to be put to rest in the Union State of Belarus and Russia?

On 14 September the president went on a working visit to the Russian Federation. The central part of the visit was negotiations with President of Russia Vladimir Putin the next day, on 15 September. This meeting had been planned in advance.

The negotiations primarily focused on the international agenda and regional problems. As well as joint tasks in economy, in particular, in manufacturing sector, in agriculture, and other branches, and the overall great work in the sphere of import substitution.

New record highs

First of all, the Belarusian leader personally congratulated his counterpart on the successful completion of a serious stage of the electoral cycle – a single voting day had taken place in many regions of Russia a week before.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “The results are understandable. I don't even want to analyze them. They are, probably, the best ones ever. All your candidates for governor positions were supported by the people. It is a great success.”

Before that, on 10 September Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated Vladimir Putin on the successful organization of an important event in Russia's domestic political life - a single voting day. “The confident victory of representatives of the United Russia political party in the elections of heads of constituent territories of the Russian Federation, members of legislative and municipal representative bodies of state power testifies to the broad support for the ongoing course towards the sovereign development of the country and the consolidation of the society,” the message reads. “I am convinced that the people's representatives will make a significant contribution to strengthening interregional cooperation with the Republic of Belarus and will facilitate the implementation of large-scale plans to build up the strategic partnership between Minsk and Moscow.”

Economic performance getting back to pre-sanctions level

Speaking about integration-driven cooperation, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that government officials of both countries had done a good job to fulfill instructions of the heads of state. “More than 80% of the tasks we've assigned to the governments have been fulfilled. We still have three months [to work on the main guidelines on realizing provisions of the Belarus-Russia Union State Foundation Treaty in 2021-2023 and 28 Union State programs]. I think we will fix these issues as well,” the president added. He also talked about measures to stabilize the situation on the fuel market upon Russia's request. “I'd like to inform you that there were some complications on the fuel market. We stabilized the situation by supplying as much as the Russian Federation needed. As much as the government requested. I think 60,000 tonnes of diesel fuel and 60,000 tonnes of gasoline. We will stabilize the situation on our common markets. If we have to further reduce exports and increase domestic shipments, it is not a problem,” he assured.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that all the major and minor issues are being resolved. And ill-wishers, who had expected a crisis and the economy to take a nosedive, proved to be wrong. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “They tried to bend us really hard and nothing came out of it. On the contrary, we got mobilized somehow. It was even unexpected. I know that you and I didn't expect we would be able to endure. Yes, our life is a bit poorer. Just a tiny bit. I think next year will be a good one for us and we will reach the pre-sanctions level of our economy's performance. All the minor issues starting with the defense industry and the other issues relating to the Ukrainian conflict… All these issues have been practically resolved. If something is still left to be addressed, then we know how we should proceed.”

In turn, Vladimir Putin stated that Belarus-Russia relations develop steadily and reliably. He remarked: “You and I continue contacts, consultations about our relations and about interaction, primarily in the sphere of economy. Everything is stable here and develops reliably, thank god.”

Ukraine, North Korea, Africa

Vladimir Putin mentioned his recent meeting with the leader of North Korea, who had visited Russia. “I also wanted to tell you how the discussion about the situation in the region proceeded. It is quite important,” he said. The Russian president also mentioned his intention to talk to the Belarusian counterpart to discuss the acutest issue – the situation in the direction of Ukraine and around the Ukrainian crisis.

In turn, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked upon the advancement of cooperation with North Korea and put forward a concrete proposal: “I've been watching you working hard for the last few days. It was a pleasure to see you and Kim Jong Un at the Vostochny cosmodrome because I've been there myself. You and I had visited this cosmodrome before. I think that we can think about some trilateral cooperation. North Korea, Russia... I know that Koreans have a great interest in you. I think there will be some work for Belarus to do, too taking into account the problems that exist.”

Cooperation with African countries was another matter for discussion. Belarus and Russia could work together in many areas of this promising region of the world. Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned a recent visit of the president of Equatorial Guinea to Belarus: “A very famous person. A sophisticated one. There is also joint work in the African direction.” “Long story short, it seemed that we had resolved all the issues but they keep piling up, this is why it is necessary to consult in good time,” the Belarusian head of state said while talking about the topicality of the meeting with the Russian president. “I am grateful to you for finding the time to consult and discuss future actions.”

Western criticism and Poland's military intentions

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin also talked to reporters together. A reporter told Vladimir Putin that the West claims that his recent meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un contributes to tensions in the region. The West also claims that Russia asked North Korea to send volunteers to participate in Russia's special military operation in Ukraine. The Russian president demolished these claims and said they were total nonsense.

In turn, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Western states should first count how many mercenaries they have already sent to participate in the Ukrainian conflict instead of trying to criticize Russia for something. “Maybe they need to do it. And secondly, it is a dangerous statement on their part [on the part of the West]. Because they dream of deploying their regular army units there. Army units are deployed in Poland near the border and are ready to enter Ukraine. You've also said that. They should look into their own eyes for some log instead of blaming someone else,” the Belarusian leader remarked.

Vladimir Putin said: “I absolutely agree with you. Fully. By the way, we see foreign mercenaries, foreign instructors in the battlefield and in the units where troops are getting trained. I think someone was taken prisoner yesterday or the day before yesterday. We don't feel the need to invite someone from the outside to fight for us.”

Dancing around Ukraine

Reporters also asked President of Russia Vladimir Putin to comment on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's statement that it takes two to tango with regard to the possible peace talks on Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said: “As for the Americans, they themselves do not know how to tango. Tango is wonderful amazing music and beautiful moves, but the United States solves all issues from a position of strength. Or with the help of economic sanctions, or financial restrictions, the threat of the use of military force, or its use. They try to teach everyone while they themselves do not know how to do it or do not want to. Most likely, they just don't want to.”

He stressed that Russia has never refused to negotiate. “Therefore, if the other side wants to, they should say so directly,” the Russian leader said. At the same time he noted: “Tangoing is good, but it is important that Ukraine does not forget how to dance [the Ukrainian dance] gopak. This is important. Otherwise, they will have to dance to someone else's music, someone else's tune all the time. But everyone will have to dance [the Russian dance] Barynya, one way or another, or Kazachok in the best-case scenario.”

In turn, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “They seem to have begun to tango. Three rounds of negotiations were held in Belarus and then in Istanbul. Then Blinken and Austin commanded Zelensky to stop the negotiations. These are the facts. These are the hard facts. Therefore, they have no reason to blame others.” “He signed a decree prohibiting [negotiations with Russia],” Vladimir Putin agreed. “He forbade it for himself,” Aleksandr Lukashenko confirmed.

THROUGH PAIN AND TRIALS. Why is People's Unity Day important for modern Belarus?

People's Unity Day is a new tradition in the history of sovereign Belarus. This year sovereign Belarus will celebrate this holiday for the third time. The holiday's history dates back to the first part of the 20th century. The events of that time were decisive not only for the development and reunification of Belarusian lands, but, perhaps, for the course of the entire world history. Who knows how things would have turned out if in 1941 the Nazi troops had attacked the Soviet Union not from the borders of the Brest Fortress, but only a couple of dozen kilometers from Minsk. It was there that the Belarusian-Polish border had been till September 1939. This border was established on the basis of the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, which was tragic for the Belarusian people.

People's Unity Day is not a brand new celebration. Although not under the current name, the holiday was solemnly celebrated in Belarus on 17 September 1940 as the day of liberation of the working people of Western Belarus from the Polish oppression. It was also on the holiday calendar for 1941, but never celebrated because of the war. Even after the war Belarus residents did not forget about the memorable date. The reunification was celebrated for the last time in 1949. New historical realities - the formation of the Polish People's Republic, establishment of contacts with this country - played their role, and gradually the holiday went away in order not to aggravate the situation. But 17 September, a joyful date for Belarusians, continued to live on in the names of streets and agricultural enterprises.

In his address to compatriots on the occasion of People's Unity Day Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that events of 17 September 1939 laid a solid foundation for the achievements and successes of modern Belarus, predetermined its further path of development. “This holiday turns us to a significant date, which has become the most important milestone in the history of the Belarusian nation that, having gone through pain and trials, gained statehood, sovereignty and world recognition,” the head of state said. “Our solidarity is based on loyalty to the memory of our ancestors, rich cultural heritage, perseverance and hard work, and the traditional values that we all share. Belarusians have learned to be together not only in struggle but also in creative work, aspirations and achievement of goals. Our common task is to multiply the potential and glory of our land through dialogue and mutual understanding, to preserve its identity and international authority.”

Hundreds of various events were held in Belarus on the eve of and on the festive date itself. The central event was the patriotic forum “We are Belarusians!”, which took place at the Minsk Arena. Numerous delegations from all oblasts and the city of Minsk came to the forum. Among them were young people, athletes, representatives of public associations, political parties, and mass media. Heads of government agencies, international organizations, and heads of diplomatic missions also attended the forum.

The plot of the forum was built on the narrative of modern Belarus - its traditions, achievements, and future. Belarus is not just a country on the map. It is a place where an independent nation lives, which is proud of its territorial integrity, independence and its achievements. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made a speech during the celebration and addressed compatriots in a live broadcast.

History lessons

The head of state stressed that many centuries of experience offer protection to Belarus, because essentially there are no new challenges. There are no unexpected twists and turns in history: “There are forgotten old lessons and threats. There is a safeguard - centuries-old experience that has taught us to be together in happy and difficult times.”

The president recalled that for many centuries Belarusians were one: when they adopted Christianity, when they were up against the German Teutonic Order, when they stood up against fascist aggression and when they began to build a sovereign Belarus on the ruins of the Soviet Union.

“We, Belarusians, do not need to be told how important it is to live in peace and harmony, to be a single nation. Life has taught us. Our compatriots born under the Polish occupation can tell a lot. Those who know about the danger of losing their homeland and breaking away from their families. They know what it means to live in their native land, but to be an outcast in the eyes of privileged fellow citizens for many decades,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Pain and “weakness”

“Until recently we almost never brought up the dramatic events of that time, the period of dismemberment of Belarus! Everything slipped into the shadow of the global tragedy of the Great Patriotic War and World War Two. That terrible human slaughter overshadowed everything. It was not customary to remember that time in the name of Soviet-Polish friendship, which, as it was thought then, would be eternal,” the head of state said.

Belarus residents did not throw accusations at their neighbors but always remembered how Poland humiliated and destroyed morally and physically all those who remained devoted to their culture, faith, language and traditions.

“Can we forget how they fired cannons at Belarusian villages, how Belarusian children were beaten with rods in Polish schools, how Belarusians, Russians, Ukrainians were tortured in the Polish concentration camp in Bereza-Kartuska? This all happened. But for the sake of friendship with the Polish people, we got over this pain. But Poland took it for weakness. But we have learned the lesson,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Time has shown that our neighbor did not appreciate our noble desire to live in peace. I'm not talking about the Polish people. I'm talking about the elites - politicians who have been seeking revenge all these years.”

Vultures and a reminder for Poland

“Today vultures are circling over us, as it was in the run-up to the Great Patriotic War. They are circling around the Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian lands. They are ready to make an alliance with the devil himself, if only to take more space on the political map of the world... ‘od morza do morza',” the head of state said. “They would like to erase the facts of political shame and moral decline of their predecessors. They themselves would like to forget how Poland was one of the first to recognize the Nazi Reich. This is a fact. It signed a non-aggression pact with it and a secret agreement on the division of Czechoslovakia. They would like to forget how, having received part of someone else's territory, they were crushed within a short time by their former ally.”

“In no case should our neighbor forget this page in history. Would it have remained on the world map if not for the Soviet soldiers? And if yes, within what borders? The authorities of our neighbors are not asking such questions today. They continue to destroy traces of the memory of their liberators,” the Belarusian leader added.

Peace and red lines

The head of state used the occasion to address neighboring nations – Poles, Lithuanians, and Latvians: “Be aware that we are not hatching plans to interfere in your life. We wish you only well, happiness and peace! But peace is so fragile that any careless movement can lead to grave irreparable consequences. I would not like our lands to once again become a theater of military operations or millions of our citizens killed again... As it has always been in history.”

He stressed that Belarusians do not need someone else's. “But please remember (I address the peoples of the neighboring states): in the event of an aggression against Belarus, we will draw no red, yellow, black or blue lines! The line is there, it is the state border! We have something to respond with. Therefore, let's live amicably, in a neighborly way!” the Belarusian leader urged.

The key condition for the preservation of the state

In the past and today unity is the key condition for the preservation of the state, a matter of survival of the Belarusian nation, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

17 September is one of the three milestone dates in Belarus, along with 9 May and 3 July which provide an opportunity to take a look into the past in order to hold the present firmly in your hands and protect the future.

“These dates unite us, modern Belarusians, in an effort to protect our historical memory in the name of peace in our native land,” the president said.

The world's most peace-loving nation

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I emphasize once again: we are not an aggressor. Our people, in fact, cannot be an aggressor. We do not threaten anyone and never will. This is not our policy. Objectively, we cannot threaten anyone. But we must defend ourselves, whether we are strong or weak. This is our historical role, of the generations living in Belarus today. No matter what internal political processes take place in our neighboring states, the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, and Ukrainians should understand: we are the most peace-loving nation on the planet. We are not rattling nuclear weapons or some units such as [the private military company] Wagner and so on and we do not threaten anyone.”

However, Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled historical facts: “Back then we did not threaten anyone either. But we were virtually wiped off the face of the Earth. In the last war we lost every third citizen. Back then invigilance and complacency played an important role why in fact Belarus almost ceased to exist. That's why we remember that. We have studied the history and still do. We will always be ready to defend our fatherland and our land.”

The impossibility of war in Belarus

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Addressing the Belarusians today, as President and Commander-in-Chief, I want to assure you: we do not want war and we will not go to war. There will be no war on the territory of Belarus in modern conditions. Because it is impossible.”

“If, God forbid, anything happens, we will all become the Brest Fortress. We will defend our land, which belongs to our children, to the last soldier, to the last Belarusian man,” the Belarusian leader stressed. “We will do this in the name of peace in our native land, in the name of Belarus, which we are building on the foundation of victories, achievements, experience and memory of our heroic ancestors.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko called on citizens of Belarus to live in peace, not to worry, to raise children, to be happy and cherish their native land.

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