Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with KGB Chairman Valery Vakulchik
The elections to local councils of deputies were a test for Belarusian authorities, Belarus’ President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he received Chairman of the State Security Committee of Belarus (KGB) Valery Vakulchik on 24 March.
“Your progress in combating espionage and smuggling is very important. But first of all, I would like to hear your opinion, your assessment of the conduct of the local elections. All journalists say that these elections were too calm and so on. What do you think about it? How would you assess the elections from the point of view of the special service? Were they peaceful, what was the attitude of people to the campaign, the early voting and election day? What do people think about it all? Have we made any mistakes?” the President asked.
“The local election campaign should teach us certain lessons. It was an examination for the authorities. Maybe it was not the most important exam, but still it was an exam,” the head of state said.
“Therefore, I would like to hear your point of view on the elections and on the matters dealt with by the special service, in particular, considering the developments in Ukraine. We passed a number of decisions on defense, military exercise and so on. How is NATO acting near the border of our country? Is there anything worrisome about its activities, something that we do not see at first sight?” the President asked Valery Vakulchik.
The KGB Chair confirmed that the local elections were conducted in a peaceful environment. He pointed to the active participation of voters in this campaign. “They do care about the processes going on in the country. We need to admit that the situation in Ukraine played its part,” Valery Vakulchik said. He explained that the Ukraine crisis prompted people to revisit their views and to stop taking for granted the stability they have in Belarus. “They realized that they should appreciate it, fight for it. If we do not preserve it, nobody will do it for us. We need to thank our people for realizing it and for supporting the government by taking part in the elections and making an informed choice,” Valery Vakulchik said.
“An analysis has revealed that people’s attitudes had a great impact on the course of the election campaign. The fact that the elections were held peacefully is also due to people. There were some petty violations, but they were not common and were dealt with by local authorities; this did not have any impact on the outcome of the elections,” the Chairman of the State Security Committee said.