Aleksandr Lukashenko takes part in celebration of Fatherland Defenders’ Day
A reliable system of national security created in Belarus allows for timely response to any challenges and threats, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with senior officers of the Armed Forces and law enforcement bodies on 23 February to mark Day of Fatherland Defenders and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.
The head of state stressed that the country was celebrating one of its most respected holidays. According to the President, this day marks not only high tribute to our heroic history but also sincere gratitude to the people who sacrificed their lives to the Motherland’s protection. Selfless military service has always stood high. That is why Day of Fatherland Defenders is by right a nationwide holiday.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, on the 70th anniversary of Belarus’ liberation from the Nazis it is worth stressing that the whole nation rose to protect their land in that struggle against the aggressor. Of course, the major strike of the enemy was faced by men in uniform who showed the example of supreme valor and courage, firmness of morale and devotion to the Motherland. The Soviet Army which lines included hundreds of thousands of Belarusians broke the fascist horde and brought the victory not only to Belarus but also to the entire Europe.
According to the President, the Belarusian courageous people who came through all the toils of war and occupation with their heads high remained unbowed and proved they would never live in slavery. “This testament of the generation of winners for us is a fundamental guide for action and the main motto for creation, protection and development of our sovereign state,” the Belarusian leader said.
“I have said it many times and would like to stress it once again today. We are building a peaceful independent state for our people never to be under one’s lash. This is my main goal as the head of state. An important factor in its achievement is the well-prepared Armed Forces, capable law enforcement agencies called up to secure the country’s defensive capacity, social and political stability in the society,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.
“We live in a rapidly changing world. On an incredibly regular basis hotbeds of tension spark here and there. We should not drop guard. We must learn on others’ mistakes and do not allow even smallest manifestations of instability in our country. There are a lot of examples of it, including continuous “revolutions” in the Muslim world and occasionally emerging unrests in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States,” the head of state noted. In his words, the situation in the neighboring Ukraine, which became an arena of clashes between powerful external and domestic forces, is quite illustrative.
“Even our society, as I noticed, has been showing some tension. There are some fears of insecurity and instability in our state,” the President said.
He stated: “The Maidan is unacceptable for us. There will be no Maidan in Belarus. It is our and yours, men’s in uniform, sacred duty and primary task: to preserve peace and stability on our land.”
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, no matter how such events may differ in various countries, one cannot fail to notice common lines. “Weakening of power in the state, corruption, impunity and complacency, irresponsibility of the power entail unrests and anarchy. The society is split, the economy is in stagnation, people suffer and are used as a blind weapon by the destructive forces. Foreign “well-wishers” appear fast, like vultures gathering for spoils, further inflaming the tensions and throwing the firewood into the fire,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President, due to its geographical position and economic openness, Belarus cannot avoid the influence of the majority of geopolitical processes in the international arena. “That is why a well-developed systemic foreign and domestic policy is of high importance for us. The policy which can protect Belarus from negative phenomena, safeguard the integrity in the society and keep us from anarchy, prevent any hostile impulses,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state also stressed that “we were able to create a reliable system of national security which provides a timely response to any challenges, risks and threats.”
According to the President, “our most important sovereign victory is that in the difficult conditions we have been able to preserve concord and peace in the society.” Belarus has been preserving peace and stability in the society more than two decades. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, this fact of the newest history is the main condition for Belarus’ sustainable development. To a large extent it has been achieved thanks to the courage and selfless service of the staff of the Armed Forces and law enforcement bodies.
The head of state stressed as important that the Belarusian people could preserve and develop the defense sector of the economy, scientific potential, which secure at their highest level the development and production of state-of-the-art armament equal in its quality to the military products of the world’s leading countries.
According to the President, sustainable improvement and development of the security system is a continuous process. “That means we have a lot of work ahead us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. The head of state believes the state needs systemic and, the main thing, preventive measures for supporting security. “We must secure peace, order and stability in the society,” the head of state stressed.
He expressed gratitude to the heads of the national security bodies, all servicemen for conscientious work and congratulated them on the national holiday.
The Belarusian President presented general’s shoulder straps to senior officers. In particular, the head of state presented major-general’s shoulder straps to colonels Vadim Denisenko, Igor Pechen and Yuri Karayev. Shoulder straps of the major-general of interior service were given to colonel Vasily Stepanenko. Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Alexei Stuk received shoulder straps of the state councilor of jusrtice, 3rd class.
On the Day of Fatherland Defenders and the Armed Forces of Belarus the President also laid a wreath at the VictoryMonument in Minsk.
Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the government bodies, courts, the National Assembly, the Security Council and the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, Minsk Oblast Executive Committee and MinskCity Hall, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, biggest civil organizations, war veterans, diplomats and representatives of the CIS Executive Committee.
A minute of silence in honor of the killed and the National Anthem of Belarus were followed by a march of the composite company and the guard of honor band of the military commandant’s office of the Armed Forces of Belarus.
The head of state greeted and talked to the diplomats and Belarusian citizens that attended the event.
After the ceremony the President also talked to Minsk residents. The head of state expressed his opinion about the situation in Ukraine. “They have their problems. The Maidan is not new to us. It is not the first time that it has happened. You know I am still on friendly terms with the first Maidaners (Viktor Yushchenko and others). They have their agenda, we have ours. We will shape our policy proceeding from this fact. They have their country, we have ours,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Our goals are the same. Ukraine should remain an integral state. No one should be allowed to tear apart this great country. It is a friendly nation for us. Do not worry that the developments in Ukraine will spill over to Belarus. What we should worry about is that our people there are going through this terrible crisis. This is very disturbing and this is just the beginning,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.
“No matter what you say and what you urge people to do in the square, you will have to deal with economic, financial matters tomorrow. You should pay pensions, salaries, and give jobs to people. These are the matters the revolutionaries will have to address tomorrow,” the Belarusian President said.
“If things proceed peacefully, we are destined to live with them in peace and accord,” the head of state said.
Commenting on the clashes in Ukraine, Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that there were attempts to do something like that in Belarus in 2010. “Now our people have understood what could have happened had we let it happen. However, we did not use water cannons against them, nor tear gas, we did not break anything. However, if you touch a military man, a policeman, a member of a special unit who is trying to set you apart, the response will not be long in coming. How can I let anyone spit in the face of a military man, to say nothing of killing him? Therefore, you should not worry about it. Everything will be all right. We have not taken anything from anyone, we have not stolen anything and have not built anything posh using someone else’s money. There they have driven people into such a condition that people think that it just cannot get worse,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian President raised this topic again when he met with diplomats. “Everything will be fine, we are Slavic people,” he said addressing Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Mikhail Yezhel.