Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, who arrived in Belarus to take part in the high-level international conference “Preventing and Countering Terrorism in the Digital Age" in Minsk on 9-10 October.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that he was surprised to learn that Vladimir Voronkov’s father (famous Soviet historian specializing in Slavic studies, professor at Moscow State University Ivan Voronkov) was born in the village of Rzhavtsy, Shklov District. “Your father was born in the place where I spent my childhood years and where I walked, sometimes barefoot, when I was in charge of some organizations. I know this village very well. It is very close from the place where I worked, literally several kilometers. I know that you are going there,” the president noted.
He said that he is glad that Vladimir Voronkov has plans to visit the native land of his father. “Give my best regards to our native land. Do not forget it, come to visit. Though there are no manufacturing or agricultural companies there, it is a very promising and nice little village. Now I know that the outstanding Slavic scholar – your father – stems from there,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
He asked to convey the best and most cordial wishes to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “We have brilliant, very friendly relations. We trust each other. Give him best regards from Belarus,” the head of state emphasized.
The president thanked Vladimir Voronkov for his substantial contribution to the organization of the international high-level conference “Preventing and Countering Terrorism in the Digital Age" in Minsk. “You are one of the organizers of this conference. You spearhead efforts to address this issue. The conference would not be so successful without your contribution,” the Belarusian leader noted.
Alexander Lukashenko reiterated that he is happy to meet with Vladimir Voronkov not only because he is a major international functionary but also because they have common roots.
For his part, Vladimir Voronkov said that this day is very emotional for him. “I have not been to Belarus for the last seven years. I spent my childhood years in the village of Rzhavtsy, Shklov District. Running barefoot, gathering hay, harvesting potatoes, doing farmer’s work. I can't say that I really liked it back then but it was part of my life. The love for these things came later. Farmer’s work is hard to like. But when you see that you create results with your own hands, this shapes the philosophy of your whole life,” he said.
He also said that he will be happy to convey greetings to Antonio Guterres. “It is not because he is my boss, but because I see how Antonio works, how he relates to people. I fully share your assessment that he is a wonderful man with very big political thinking, with understanding of the world. He is a very big supporter of multilateral approaches to world order, which is very important during these times,” Vladimir Voronkov said.