MINSK, 4 May (BelTA) – Economic revival will be in the focus of the development program of Belarusian regions affected by the Chernobyl disaster, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko told journalists following his meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 4 May, BelTA has learned.
During his trip to Chernobyl-affected regions, the head of state instructed the government and local authorities to draw up a development program of these regions, Roman Golovchenko said. According to him, such program is currently in the pipeline.
Plans are in place to create local points of growth – enterprises of local importance – in every affected district and build infrastructure for their effective operation.
The new program will not substitute but enhance the existing development program of Chernobyl-affected regions, Roman Golovchenko stressed, which means that all existing benefits and payments will remain in place. “Belarus will continue earmarking funds for activities to reintegrate these regions in the country's economic system and to deal with contamination of soil and water,” he noted. “However, for now we will focus on economic revival of these regions,” he added.
Of course, people's health remains a priority, the prime minister stressed. “Some have immediately started lamenting that the government is allegedly going to greenlight the idea to start using the contaminated lands again. People should calm down and realize that members of the government are sensible people whose primary concern is people's safety,” he explained. “We will tread carefully integrating these areas into economic activities,” Roman Golovchenko added.
The government shall draw up the updated development program of Chernobyl-affected regions by September 2021.