Aleksandr Lukashenko makes personnel decisions

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko made a number of personnel decisions on 15 October.

    The head of state appointed:

    Vladimir Gusakov Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences;

    Anatoly Cherny Architecture and Construction Minister;

    Alexander Shumilin Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology.

    The President approved the appointment of:

    Igor Popov as chief of the administration of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.

    President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that he had selected the candidate for the post of the Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus with special care. “It was my choice. Because you are an economist with a down-to-earth background. You know economy inside out. You know what a corporate economy is. Moreover, you have come all the way from the bottom to the academician,” the President noted.

    According to the head of state, at present it is important to nominate a representative of the scientific community to head the Academy of Sciences. “We don not want scientists to think that we promote only our own people, no way. I need honesty, integrity and fairness in the management of the scientific sphere. I will do everything for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

    With the appointment of the new chairman the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus will become even more independent. “You report to the President and I do not interfere with your affairs much. I always study the processes going on over there before making a decision,” the head of state said.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko added he was going to hold a conference with the country’s leading scientists in the near future. “We will tell them openly how our science will develop, what the essence of the scientific reform will be and what we should produce in the end. I am going to speak frankly about my wishes and maybe remarks regarding scientists. In November we will meet and will discuss the matters we have to take care of very thoroughly. We will hold the conference for the scientists to understand what will be needed of them in the foreseeable future. We will take an honest look at science. We will answer the question of in what state science is now, what problems exist today, what problems the state and the government have to address and what problems the Academy of Sciences and scientists have to deal with on their own,” the President explained.

    The President remarked that some representatives of the general public had expressed criticism regarding the NASB administration system. In particular, it has been said that the Academy does not need the top administrator. “Let me tell you right away: I am doing it to bring the Academy of Sciences closer to life in order to make the NASB more effective. If you like, I want some kind of a second scientific government that would work together with the economic block of the government and the government as a whole for the benefit of the country. In some areas I want you to be ahead of the government, half a step ahead of our society,” the head of state said.

    “You know my attitude to scientists. It is often said that Lukashenko is adept at talking to scientists. And it is truly so. But not because I do not know what your work is or that I do not respect researchers. On the contrary, I value your work very much. I want this organization to be always pure like a tear. There is nothing harder than the work of scientists,” the Belarusian President stressed.

    The President stated that the reform of Belarusian science will continue. If necessary, the Academy will be given land plots and other properties. “I just want the land and these properties to be used effectively for the benefit of the state. The Academy of Sciences should also advance fundamental science in those areas that we need. And particularly applied sciences, our concrete economic activities. It is the most important thing for us today. It is also very important for the Academy of Sciences and the state as a whole,” Aleksandr Lukashenko believes.

    When appointing Anatoly Cherny new Minister of Architecture and Constryction, the head of state urged to resolve all the problems in the industry as soon as possible. “You know better than anyone else how to do it, because you climbed the career ladder, from the bottom to the top, in the construction industry. We need to simplify things and switch to European standards. I believe we can accept them. I have been informed that a lot has been done in this respect. I hope the reports reflect the truth,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The new Architecture and Construction Minister will have to work in close collaboration with a task force that deals with the problems in the construction industry. “We need to engage in a meaningful dialogue with representatives of the industry. Of course, you will have to team up with the chairman of the task force to get ready for this discussion on the level of the President,” the head of state said. The President pledged support for initiatives designed to improve the situation in the industry. “I promise to uphold any your initiative aimed to rectify the situation in the industry. Any time. I would ask you to stand tall and remain fearless. There are no factions in our country, but interests might differ, including those of top officials. They will hear me today. It is unacceptable to wobble between different groups. You assumed office, you have power. You report to the President and people and you should resolve the problems facing the industry. We need to rectify the situation in the industry no matter what it takes, we need to give development companies an opportunity to work freely,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    The head of state appointed Alexander Shumilin Chairman of the State Science and Technology Committee. Outlining the tasks the Committee and its new head face, the President spoke at length about the financing of science. “I have to say that you have no right to make errors. None whatsoever. You cannot be kind to everyone. We should clearly determine the fields that we should support and advance. It is necessary to be an active, fair, and powerful controller in order to get answers for the fields that have been financed and supported by the state,” the head of state stressed.

    “Your job is a complicated and hard one, too. Moreover, it is necessary to put the Committee on the track it should follow. It is necessary to set the goals the Committee has to accomplish. Therefore, you will have to do what hasn’t been done until now,” Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded.