Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the role of citizens in maintaining order and developing communities during his visit the village of Bolbasovo, Orsha District on 4 November.
The head of state got familiar with the upgrading and social development of Bolbasovo. Speaking to local residents, he said that gradual steps are taken in Belarus to improve living conditions in the country, starting from the capital and ending with agro-towns. However, small villages, like Bolbasovo, have been sidelined a little. “We have cleaned up here and it is you who will maintain order here from now on,” said the president.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the need for further landscaping of the village, the development of park areas and the most comfortable living conditions. Villages like Bolbasovo or Kopys are a model to be used to bring order to similar villages throughout the country in the next few years.
The president called upon the citizens to join in the process. “Everyone needs to make their contribution. We cannot rely only on the state. It will play its role,” said Alexander Lukashenko.
He stressed that he is not a supporter of an exclusively market approach and the state will continue to play the necessary role in the development of territories, their improvement and the creation of new jobs. “This beauty will be in demand by people only when they have a place to work. Therefore, we must also create workplaces,” said the president. A number of construction projects have been launched near Bolbasovo to give impetus to economic development. They include the restoration of the airport and the construction of a large industrial and logistics center nearby. “We have wonderful logistics here - an international automobile highway, a railway junction, and an airport,” added Alexander Lukashenko.
The head of state called for a businesslike approach to the use of empty buildings and premises. Some of them can be transformed for other purposes, like doing business, providing various types of services.
“For me this village is a symbol of our inseparable friendship with Russians. During the Soviet time a lot of Russians worked here. Different nations lived here and used this airfield. It was one of the strategic military airfields. Let this restored village be a symbol of our unbreakable friendship of Slavic peoples, first of all, Russians and Belarusians,” said the president.
Talking to the residents of Bolbasovo, the head of state also touched upon the demographic issue, stressing the need for at least three children in every family: “We need people for the existence of Belarus. A sovereign and independent Belarus, first of all, means people”.
Alexander Lukashenko walked along the central street of the village, got familiar with its latest improvements. The things recently done in the village include repairs to roads, social facilities, facades of houses and courtyards. Modern children's and sports grounds were equipped. The issue of providing the population with high-quality drinking water was resolved through the construction of a deferrization station.
The president paid a visit to two local grocery stores, state-run and private ones. Both the trading facilities are in demand among local residents, and prices for goods are at about the same level.
The president stressed that for a more flexible pricing policy, it is necessary to level the working conditions of state and private trade organizations.
Alexander Lukashenko urged to take a careful approach to the construction of large chain stores in the area for the fear that they can destroy the business of small convenience shops.
The president also discussed with the local residents the need to improve the quality of services in the trade of industrial goods.
Alexander Lukashenko visited the restored CulturalCenter in Bolbasovo. The center provides different types of services, such as dance and singing classes, and also a gym to do sport.
Taking to the residents of Bolbasovo, Alexander Lukashenko mentioned the historical significance of the October Revolution Day which is celebrated annually in Belarus.
“We left the October Revolution day a holiday in the national calendar. Of course, the attitude to this holiday is a bit different. The revolution is a distant past now. It has been more than a hundred years. But this is our history. We cannot erase it or rewrite it. Whoever tried to throw a stone in the past by rewriting the history got this stone in the present. We left this day as the holiday on our national calendar. But, of course, time goes by, and we need to fill this holiday with some other meaning,” the head of state said.
This day was traditionally marked with the completion of projects in various sectors. “We have kept this good tradition intact,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to the president, projects have been implemented in the agricultural, industrial and social sectors. Among the recently completed projects is the reconstruction of a bridge over the Pripyat in Zhitkovichi District, and social sector improvements in the town of Bolbasovo and Orsha District. Measures are currently implemented to boost economic development and create new jobs in these places.
During the meeting with local residents Alexander Lukashenko emphasized an exceptionally peaceful policy of the Belarusian state and people.
"We are peaceful people, we do not want war. We are not rich, but we do not ask anyone for anything. We will earn our happiness ourselves. If we work, we will do everything ourselves. I have already said that tens and hundreds of years of negotiations are better than one day of war. For this [peaceful and prosperous life] we must be a single whole, see our goals, and live as we see it right,” said the head of state.
“We have an average state by European standards. We are in the very center of Europe and we value this,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the transit significance of Belarus, which, with its transportation infrastructure in the region, turned out to be in great demand for transshipment of certain goods. This, however, creates additional risks as well. "Speaking at the Munich Security Conference Core Group Meeting in Minsk, I said that the west need to value Belarus and do not impose sanctions against us. Drugs, banditry, nuclear elements, and illegal migration, everything goes to the West through us. We stop it all at our own expense,” the head of state said.
“Today, they have finally understood how valuable this piece of land in the center of Europe is. Americans also understand this today,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
As for the Belarusian foreign policy, the president stressed: “One should get on well with the neighbors.” Here, he mentioned the recent talks about an American military base in Poland. “I told the minister of foreign affairs that we are not going to fight against you. There is no need in additional bases. Otherwise, we and the Russians will have to respond. We will have to set up bases in a counter-move,” said the head of state.
Alexander Lukashenko also examined the progress made in the construction of a multi-modal industrial and logistics center in Bolbasovo.