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Meeting with members of Security Council

18 August 2020
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with members of the Security Council on 18 August.

The head of state noted that he had convened the conference to traditionally discuss the situation unfolding in Belarus. “Not only inside the country but outside it as well. Particularly at our borders. You remember that we’ve already mentioned the matter in the strategic command center. Some of our citizens described it as aggravation of the situation. They say that nothing like that is going on at the western borders of our country. But I think that yesterday’s evening and particularly the night you made sure that it was not the aggravation of the situation but a precise and right reaction. We should have taken it into account before that,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The Belarusian leader explained: “Representatives of Western nations, including some heads of state, who don’t even know where Belarus is and don’t know what is going on here, have released statements.”

“These statements indicate that the President was right when we were discussing the matter in the Defense Ministry. Thank god, we’ve reacted to it and deployed combat units of our army on western borders of the country and set them to full alert. The defense minister told me that all of that had been done and the relevant units are now ready to carry out their missions,” the President said. “Let me stress it one more time: I strongly regret our having to use certain army units, particularly special operations units, to restore order inside the country. Because there is a certain part of our population. They don’t fail to comprehend it. They are doing it specifically.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that as the military say, the external component forces one to take the situation into account and act accordingly.

The head of state added: “So, problems are emerging not only inside the country but also outside. We can clearly see that these are absolutely coordinated actions. But they are far from their peak. Events will unfold accordingly but we understand in what direction they will.”

The head of state commented on the situation that is developing inside the country. “The new element is an attempt to lull the authorities, especially the law enforcement: they say ‘we are peaceful, we are nice, we no longer want confrontation’. This is not exactly true. This is a smokescreen. If you look behind it, you see what is happening," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

First, the President noted, they have set an opposition headquarters in the country for power transfer. “They are giving us a different angle. They demand to hand over power to them, no less. We see it unequivocally: this is an attempt to seize power with all the ensuing consequences,” the Belarusian leader said.

“I would like to warn the members of this headquarters that we will take adequate measures, in strict compliance with the Constitution and the law. They provide for sufficient measures to calm some hot heads,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state also commented on members of the opposition council: “Some of them were in power or close to power once. They were kicked out, hold a grudge. Others are outright Nazis. Just take a look at the names.”

The President descried the opposition staff’s program, which lists priority measures for the period till 2021 and long-term measures for the period till 2030, as a total failure.

The head of state instructed the government and the Belarus President Administration to analyze the document point by point and prepare information about what consequences the country will face if the program is implemented. “The government will prepare all the materials. We will inform the nation about consequences of every step then,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also made a few personal remarks about provisions of the program.

“For instance, the withdrawal from the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Customs Union (they are illiterates, the Customs Union has been replaced by the Eurasian Economic Union), and other integration associations where Russia dominates. I should say that Russia dominates none of those bodies. The opposition should read charter documents. These bodies make decisions by consensus and every country has one vote,” the head of state said.

The opposition also suggests introducing border control and customs control at the Belarusian-Russian border. “In other words, they want a full-fledged Belarusian-Russian border and all the consequences it entails,” the President noted.

“The third point is to prohibit selling objects of Belarusian infrastructure to Russian companies. I wonder to which companies they can be sold then. Naturally, Western ones. My position and our position are clear: we are not going to sell anything to anyone. Just the way things have been up till now,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about the program’s clause that provides for lifting state oversight from mass media. “So, today state oversight is a bad thing. But some coordinating council of some charlatans will be the one to control mass media. The way it’s been done in Ukraine and other countries, you know,” the President said.

Besides, the opposition suggests enabling the broadcasting of Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian TV channels in Belarus. “They will broadcast in Belarus. While the broadcasting of Russian TV channels will be prohibited. No comment,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

As for military affairs, the document suggests Belarus should withdraw from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russian military bases – a communications node in Vileika and a radar station near Baranovichi – should be shut down. It was noted during the conference that these facilities cannot be treated as military bases. “I don’t understand what threat military bases represent for us. These are not even combat units. 90% of their employees are Belarusians that draw salaries,” the head of state said. “Withdrawal from the Collective Security Treaty Organization… I assume the fact that we use Soviet, Russian weapons is dangerous. If we withdraw from the Collective Security Treaty Organization and follow this anti-Russian policy, these weapons will be ruined within one year,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“These Soviet-Russian weapons will be totally destroyed. Huge investments will be needed to rearm the Belarusian army in line with NATO standards. They think NATO members will give the money. Nobody will give anything! They will have to toil themselves. They don’t care. You will see it later,” the head of state noted.

“Then there is the development, broad development of border infrastructure at the western border with the European Union. You’ve heard me that they intend to close the border with Russia. Consequences are not difficult to predict. Today we trade with Russia. You know what will happen tomorrow,” Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about the introduction of the so-called creeping prohibition against the Russian language in Belarus. “They don’t state it openly. They suggest introducing criminal responsibility for insulting the Belarusian language. Have we ever insulted our mother tongue? It has never happened,” the head of state stressed.

Speaking about the matter of the language, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the opposition also suggests switching the army to the Belarusian language. Instruction in Belarusian starting with kindergartens and ending with universities should be introduced by 2030. “You and I have made up our minds. We’ve been through that and have turned the page. We’ve decided how we will act with regard to the Belarusian language and the Russian one. They are state languages in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “We’ve agreed we will not dwell on the matter. Feel free to speak any language you like. English is not forbidden in Belarus or any other language. Feel free to study Chinese, English. But no, they had to hype up the language problem!”

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that there are several state languages in some countries, including European ones. “Austria speaks German. And lives just fine,” he noted.

The restoration of the Belarusian autocephalous Orthodox church in opposition to the Belarusian Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate is another point of the opposition program. “We’ve always been proud of the fact that there is confessional peace in Belarus, that nobody interferes with anyone. Neither Orthodox believers, nor Catholic ones. Muslims, Jews, and so on live a pleasant life in Belarus. The opposition wants to start an interreligious war and hence an interethnic war. Everything we’ve always been proud of will be rejected and disgraced,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

At last the opposition program suggests submitting applications for Belarus’ membership in the European Union and NATO. The head of state noted that “democracy was installed in Ukraine about ten years ago” but the country has yet to become a NATO member or a European Union member. “Moreover, nobody looks forward to their membership. Nobody will look forward to Belarus’ membership. We will just destroy our country like that,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that American mass media have recently come up with a theory of the union of three seas: “the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Adriatic Sea. There is no Russia in it, no Serbia. But there is Belarus. We’ve been added to the union already.”

“Let me emphasize once again: we will promptly analyze these matters and inform the nation about consequences of such actions. But today you can see how well what they are trying to plant inside the country is coordinated. Re-election, chaos and so on, strikes at enterprises. They’ve started choking families of civil servants, military, police, mass media. We can see all of that. We don’t calm down,” the President concluded.

Tags: Sessions
© 2020, The Press Service of the President of the Republic of Belarus