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President
31 March 2023, 13:58

Toughness of Belarusians in face of Western sanctions emphasized

MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – In response to the economic pressure of absolutely illegal sanctions Belarusians, who are employed in the real sector of the economy, demonstrated their tough character once again. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in his Address to the nation and the parliament on 31 March, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the foundation of the state policy in Belarus is a people-oriented economy, which is supported by the people. This is why it became the key target of the West. “You can see that the economy of the European Union is obviously weathering a storm. They would dearly love to resolve their problems at our own expense like they did in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union. But they can't. We are now smarter and older. Great financial ‘experts' predicted the fall of our economy, the fall of the ruble, the poverty of the population. Now when those predictions are far from the truth, it is necessary to explain to citizens of the European Union why Belarus endured when they had to be frugal about heating, hot water, gasoline. Moreover, Belarus even demonstrated growth in a number of areas. Now the West is looking for objective and subjective factors. Keep looking. They will never be able to understand the difference between a ‘free' liberal society where nobody owes anyone anything and a nation, which understands its responsibility before the state, before its fellow citizens and future generations,” the president stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Belarusians, who are employed in the real sector. “In response to the economic pressure of sanctions (I emphasize they are absolutely illegal) you have once again demonstrated our inflexible Belarusian character. It is better to fight economic battles than how things proceed over there. We have accomplished a lot. Not everything, of course. We face too much pressure. But you and I had agreed that we will have to pay for our sovereignty. Did we pay a lot? Did we lose anything?” he wondered. “We haven't started paying yet. On the whole, things remain the same. Our homes remain warm and cozy. There is food in our shops even for the most exacting gourmets. Kids go to schools and universities. There is order and safety in our streets, acceptable order. And we can lose it all in a second. And we saw how it happens.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that Belarusian enterprises keep working and goods are being shipped to new markets despite all the sanctions. “We secured a record-high foreign trade surplus of nearly $4.3 billion (we even beat the record high of 2021), thus preserving the stability of the national currency. We keep prices in check. We have fully ensured food security by growing the best harvest of cereals in the last five years. We fear no famine. Our foods are sold all over the world,” he stated.

In 2022 earnings from Belarus' food export exceeded $8 billion for the first time, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Do you remember how we dreamed of $6 billion? Meanwhile, we know what untapped reserves many agricultural enterprises have. If we enforce the strictest order, if we observe production discipline, then the results will be way higher. The world's population is growing. More and more countries are experiencing hunger. This is why the food that no one can do without will be the key direction of development of any economy. Oblast governors and the central government will be held accountable for order in agriculture without compromises. I've already said that,” the president stated. “And on the whole, this year is the median of the five-year program. This year we have to accomplish all the plans and do at least as well as we did last year. If we want to live better.”

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