Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has introduced Andrei Shved, Belarus’ new Prosecutor General.
Introducing Andrei Shved, the President drew attention to his extensive experience, in particular, in the prosecution service where he rose through the ranks from an aide to a prosecutor to deputy prosecutor general. In addition to that, he worked in various government agencies, including in the State Secretariat of the Security Council where he led a legal department. He also took part in the establishment of the Investigative Committee. “He successfully chaired the Belarusian State Forensic Examination Committee since it was established seven years ago. This is a special page in his life. He was instructed to set up a new, advanced agency virtually from scratch. This agency is very important for our country. His life trajectory, expertise and knowledge should be an example to follow for people who claim the country’s highest offices,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state called the former prosecutor general, Aleksandr Konyuk, a loyal and candid man. “He has proved it with his path in life. He went through the Afghan war. That was an important part of my considerations when I appointed him the prosecutor when he was a judge. Those who had been to Afghanistan during that time cannot be bad people. I proceeded from that. I should say that he never did anything to make me regret his appointment,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“It is not easy to hold the position of the KGB chief or the prosecutor general or the minister of internal affairs for more than five years in our country. You have to turn to the left and to the right in order to preserve the independence and sovereignty of the state. He held this position for nine yeas,” the President said. He added that Valery Vakulchik was close to hitting this record as he worked in the position of the KGB chief from 2012 to 2020 and was recently appointed State Secretary of the Security Council.
Using the occasion Aleksandr Lukashenko shared his vision of the work of the prosecution offices. “Minsk is going through a difficult time right now. We are experiencing a dramatic period. Maybe, it is happening for the first time in the history of our state, at least, for the first time in the past decade. However, many will disagree with me recalling the mid-1990s. They say that it was worse. Many remember the time when cars were overturned and set on fire on roads, when dozens of thousands of people really took to the streets. The reasons were clear then: families had nothing to eat,” the President said.
“The situation with law enforcement has deteriorated in the country. However, let us be frank. Maybe, I am getting it wrong, but I personally believe that the prosecution service has failed to rise to the occasion. They should focus on preserving the country, its independence and safety. I have always demanded it and will keep doing it. This year the country should return to the safe period it has recently had and which is characteristic of our country. This is about Belarus’ image,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President emphasized that the prosecution service should enforce the law and safeguard the safe development of the state. “Some coordination councils and other organizations...The Constitutional Court and the prosecutor general gave their assessment of these coordination councils (I believe you share this view). You should not only assess the legal status of organizers and mobilizers, but also respond in a more powerful and dramatic way to such actions,” the head of state said.
“I would like to tell you frankly to avoid any kind of understatement. They often say ‘he will not give up’. They are right. The people elected me and they do not expect me to give up. The same is true about you. You also have the power. The power is not given to be thrown or given away. In the mid-1990s, it was lying in the mud, was flouted. The same was true about you, people in uniform. Many of you remember that period. I do not want Belarus to go back to that time. No one will be allowed to throw the power into the mud,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added: “I will do it together with you or without you - it is up to you. No one will bring me to my knees. If you want to stand next to me and save the country, then do it. If you do not want to, do not betray. You are people in uniform. Do not create hype. Get out of the way and do not interfere.”
The head of state reminded those present that he had mentioned this before the election, because he had a feeling that ‘they would try to bring that mess about’.
“Secondly, if you think that I am clinging to power with blue fingers for my sake, you will disappoint me very much. I have already said to Russians, who do not know everything about our country, that sooner or later this power will be taken by others, but it will be taken by law, not under the pressure of the street. You are well-educated people. Please think. I do not call you to save the state in violation of the law,” the President said.
“When there is an almost blatant intervention, as I call it, from the outside and it is heated up from the inside and guided from the outside, it is necessary to take strict measures to stop all the rubbish that claims the power. In this very case the situation is not like that,” the Belarusian leader said.
“I would like to reiterate: I do not call you to violate the law. We have legislation and laws to save the country from this invasion, so that it does not repeat the situation with Ukraine, Libya, Syria and so on, and stabilize the country. Act according to the law and remember that you are the same citizens as the President of the country. Both you and I have children. You are the ones to live in this country and in a new Belarus,” the head of state concluded.