Belarus is interested in Kazakhstan’s experience of building exhibition pavilions for the Astana Expo 2017. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on 8 June.
“We could not but visit this expo because you are our friends, people, who are close to us. I know how hard you’ve been preparing for this expo, how much has been done. We will not just look at the pavilions,” the Belarusian head of state said. “We have plans to build a Belarusian expo center. This is why we are going to thoroughly study your experience. Certainly, we don’t need your scale, the scale of a world expo. We will very carefully study this experience. If you help us with at least architectural blueprints and specialists, if you give us a hint or two, we will be very grateful,” the Belarusian leader noted.
Alexander Lukashenko also gave the copies of the archive documents concerning women convicted in the BSSR at the end of the 1930s for political reasons and convoyed to prison on the territory of Kazakhstan to Nursultan Nazarbayev. The documents will be kept at the museum and memorial complex commemorating the victims of political repressions and totalitarianism. It has been opened at the location of the biggest Soviet women’s camp – the Akmolina camp for wives of traitors to the Homeland of Karlag, a Gulag labor camp in Karaganda Oblast, a.k.a. ALZHIR.
“I know that you value the historical truth, that you have done a lot for the opening of a museum at the location of the Akmolina camp for wives of traitors to the Homeland,” the President said.
The Belarusian head of state added that when he learned about the implementation of the project to open a museum and historical complex at the location of the former camp near Astana, he instructed Belarus’ KGB to find and study archive materials because people from all over the USSR were sent to that prison. “We have revealed interesting materials. I think that they will serve as a foundation for the Belarusian exposition in this museum,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
In his words, these are the copies of documents concerning the wives of Belarusian writers, letters from the relatives of imprisoned women. One of them was the mother-in-law of the People’s Poet of Belarus Petrus Brovka.
In turn, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked the Belarus President for accepting the invitation to visit Kazakhstan to participate in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the opening ceremony of the Astana Expo 2017. Speaking about the bilateral relations, Nursultan Nazarbayev said he was confident there are no problems.
The President of Kazakhstan also thanked the Belarusian leader for the archive materials. He said that the museum workers tried to restore the living conditions of prisoners in the elements of the exposition. “People were tortured and died there. We should not forget that!” Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
Alexander Lukashenko also attended a concert and a reception in Astana Opera on the occasion of the summit of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana on 8 June.