Aleksandr Lukashenko holds session on fulfillment of instructions concerning construction of important facilities in Minsk

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Minsk city authorities drag their feet and are unable to properly work with investors on important construction projects. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed his displeasure at the government session held on 1 April to discuss the fulfillment of instructions concerning the construction of important facilities in Minsk.

“Frankly speaking, I am fed up with having to constantly hear about delays, plans going haywire, and the revision of investment projects to build important facilities,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said with regret that such situations are most frequent in Minsk. The fact dishonors the city administration. “The issue of construction projects in Minsk can no longer be tolerated. I am not going to tolerate it even if the government and even law enforcement agencies are okay with it,” stressed the head of state.

“I am sorry but I am already starting to suspect all the top officials in MinskCity Hall and I have my reasons. I’ve mentioned the first vice mayor of Minsk repeatedly. He has been tried and convicted for taking huge bribes. Things like that don’t happen out of the blue. What is going on in Minsk now and the reports I get are alarming. You may face a destiny along the lines of your first deputy’s,” the President told Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko. “You don’t like this or that thing or you take a year to find an investor or you need to polish a concept when it is ready and people are ready to act on it. Or you reschedule projects on your own authority even past 2020. None of us will be around then. Who is going to build, who is going to implement your ideas?”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Minsk is the face of the country. Close attention is paid in Minsk to the creation of new important facilities, to the creation of modern infrastructure to improve living standards, to the reconstruction of historical and cultural monuments. “All of it is done for the benefit of the people in the interests of the current and future generations,” said the head of state. “However, I am concerned about slow progress and particularly about the quality of the work. Apart from designers and construction companies I blame the officials, who organize the process and should be fully responsible for the progress in the implementation of the projects”.

According to the President, for many years the situation has been dire with regard to such projects as MinskCity, the Tractor and Dinamo stadiums, the freestyle center, and the aqua park. “Each represents a pile of problems that have been left unattended for a long time. Your dragging feet and the inability to interact with investors properly have contributed to it as well as lack of control and the blatant lack of action in complicated situations,” believes the head of state.

“From this point of view the performance of the Minsk City Executive Committee is nothing but dissatisfactory. You practice a peculiar kind of work and attitude to instructions, particularly instructions given by the president,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “When decisions to start a construction projects are made, these officials just nod their agreement. Once the real work begins, they start begging for the revision of projects and the rescheduling of deadlines. Instead of doing their jobs they drag their feet! This attitude is unacceptable!”

“I would like the head of the city administration to tell me, first, when are we going to start building the MinskCity project, and second, when are we going to start building the Dinamo stadium? Do you intend to delay its reconstruction till 2017? Third, where are we going to host international football competitions? The football federation has assured me that we will apply for participating in the 2020 European championship!” said the head of state. The President also demanded reports on the state of affairs regarding the reconstruction of the Tractor stadium. “Judging by the way the things are progressing, the reconstruction is likely to start after 2020. It won’t do!”

Aleksandr Lukashenko was also interested in other facilities, which are already under construction, in measures meant to secure the successful implementation of projects, and in what had been done in association with the government to ensure uninterrupted financing. “I think the State Control Committee has turned its attention to these problems,” added the head of state.

Chairman of the Minsk City Council Nikolai Ladutko informed the President about the fulfillment of his instructions to build important facilities in Minsk.

Nikolai Ladutko told the President about the finishing of the construction of new building of the Great Patriotic War museum. There are plans to open the museum in the run up to the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from Nazi invasion.

The current biggest project in the Belarusian capital is the construction of the MinskCity business center. According to Minsk Mayor Nikolai Ladutko, a contest was held on the concept development and its winners were named. Later a decision was made to finalize the concept to bring it to the real requirements of the territory under development. Today this concept can be used to work on the architectural design of the project.

“The next step is to determine the terms for the implementation of the project. Serious consulting work has been done over the period. Approaches have been developed. A package of necessary documents and a draft decree have been submitted for consideration. However, for realistic terms for the tender, there is a need for additional preferences for the implementation of this large-scale project. The analysis of the situation shows that the project can be implemented only in close cooperation between the MinskCity Hall, the government and the investor,” Nikolai Ladutko said.

According to Nikolai Ladutko, there are two possible variants for the future course of events. The first one envisages the adoption of the submitted draft decree and the announcement of the tender for the investor for the project. The second one means the decision on direct talks with the winners of the concept contest to determine the terms of the implementation of the project.

Head of the Belarus President’s Administration Andrei Kobyakov, as for the first variant which envisages the tender before 1 July, the failure of the tender is highly likely as the terms the draft decree envisages are without preferences and tougher then the terms which were offered to the previous investor of the Minsk City project.

“I suggest holding talks based on the finalized concept. I am not sure that the tender will reveal some investor who will agree to work on standard conditions,” Belarusian Premier Mikhail Myasnikovich said.

Partaking in the government session on 1 April were investors that take part in the implementation of various construction projects in Minsk. Their voiced their proposals and expressed their position on the issue.

“As for MinskCity, call a tender within the next two months. Develop the project terms in advance so as an investor could read them and make the decision regarding the project. Work on the terms taking into account the situation in the world and on our construction market. Involve anyone you need and hold a fair tender,” the President said, summarizing the results of the meeting.