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27 June 2020, 16:57

Dialogue with public touted as means to thwart attempts to demonize authorities

Ivan Eismont. Screenshot of Belarus 1 TV channel's video
Ivan Eismont. Screenshot of Belarus 1 TV channel's video

MINSK, 27 June (BelTA) – A dialogue between the authorities and the public can thwart attempts by independent mass media to demonize the authorities, Chairman of Belteleradiocompany Ivan Eismont said as he took part in Belarus 1 TV channel's Editors Club program, BelTA has learned.

The agenda of the show included the recent meeting of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko with Brest residents who oppose the construction of a battery plant in the city. Ivan Eismont noted that the participants of the meeting heard each other out and arrived at a consensus, leaving everybody satisfied.

“This brings us to a serious conclusion. Firstly, people who oppose something can always take the first step forward and are willing to engage in a discussion with the authorities (at least, some of them), if they can expect a meaningful and conclusive talk. Secondly, such meetings are capable of foiling the whole plot to demonize the authorities, which is unfolding in independent mass media, doing its damage,” he said.

Aleksei Avdonin, an analyst with the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research, supported Ivan Eismont. According to Aleksei Avdonin, the opposition use various methods to foster a negative attitude towards the authorities. “These opponents sometimes act from neighboring countries and aim to provoke some kind of a social conflict here, in Belarus. These are tried and tested methods that have been used in Europe, Asia, and Latin America for the past 30 years. This is why one of the key ways to avoid a confrontation between the authorities and the public is a direct dialogue. We have recently seen it for ourselves: such a dialogue helped resolve many issues,” the expert remarked.

However, Aleksei Avdonin wondered why the local authorities had not been ready for this dialogue for two years. “The dialogue had been developing, but the moment of truth came only now, when the activists met and spoke with the head of state who helped deal with the problem exaggerated by the opposition,” Aleksei Avdonin said.

For his part, Director of the National Branch of the Interstate Television and Radio Company Mir Vladimir Pertsov added that people who have politicized this problem and demonized the authorities do not care about the environment of Brest. “They are interested only in some big political ideas or, at least, in political orders they are paid for,” he believes.

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