Belarus President inaugurates new Minsk metro stations
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko inaugurated a new section of the first line of the Minsk metro. The new section includes three stations, namely Grushevka, Mikhalova and Petrovshchina, which make part of the first line that starts from the station The Institute of Culture.
The new metro stations will connect the residential areas in the south-west of the city with the downtown as well as the industrial zone in the south-east part of the city.
The new section is over 5km long. A number of progressive technical solutions had been implemented in the construction of the new metro stations.
The President was reported on the Minsk metro development, measures to ensure its security, the progress in the project to remodel Dzerzhinskogo Avenue.
The President said that the Minsk metro construction company Minskmetrostroy should be preserved and developed in the future for the sake of exporting construction services.
The President was briefed on the development of the intercity rail passenger transportation system.
Aleksandr Lukashenko liked the three new stations of the first metro line that he inaugurated. The stations had been finalized beautifully, with money spent wisely. “It is good that it was done frugally,” said the President. “No need to build palaces. Everything should be functional here. Cleanliness and order are the most important things. No need for superfluities. Long-lasting materials should be used”.
After the President had visited all the three metro stations, he answered reporters’ questions.
One of the journalists asked why Belarus had preserved the tradition to celebrate the October Revolution Day.
“I can accept all the ideas that the revolutionaries put forth before people. They had good ideas back then: land for peasants, factories for workers, order and recovery of the country and so on. There was not a single bad slogan. And with these slogans the revolution won,” said the head of state.
“The present policy of our country relies on many of these slogans,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “When we celebrate the October Revolution day, we primarily treasure those ideas and slogans,” said the President.
Speaking about why some post-Soviet countries do not celebrate the date, Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “They didn’t have the guts in their own time. They faced a storm of criticism saying that the revolution brought grief and killed people. People were killed afterwards. We are talking about ideas. These negative processes involving the slaughter of people and the deviation from the ideas declared prior to the revolution were a wrong move. But they happened afterwards and we condemn it. But one shouldn’t condemn what happened in 1917 and scrap the good ideas that Lenin and his team went forward with”.
Aleksandr Lukashenko advised a careful attitude to the evaluation of the past. “Never hurry to evaluate what happened. It is all politically biased,” stressed the Belarusian leader. “Whatever past we may have it is ours. We cannot avoid it. For us to look decent in this past, it is necessary to see drawbacks, they cannot be hushed up but all the good things that happened should be highlighted. Because it is our past”.
“Even today we understand that we did the right thing by preserving this holiday. And for this holiday we put aside the best – gifts for the people,” said the head of state. Speaking about the construction of new Minsk metro stations, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the construction of every kilometer of the new metro lines had cost $50 million. “It was not done for executives or rich people. It was done for the general public. Isn’t it an embodiment of the ideas that were declared?” wondered the President.
When asked whether active development of the transport infrastructure is expensive for Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that the development of infrastructure projects spurs the economy of the country.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the construction of new transport lines, including the Minsk metro lines, logistics centers is the kind of economy he was talking about. “It drives the development of the economy and raises interest in investors,” he remarked. “On the other hand, if we can afford something like that, then things are not bad economy-wise”.
According to the head of state, if no new things are built or created, the country will not develop. “Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded about other important infrastructure facilities, which were being commissioned. The hydropower plant on the Neman River near Grodno is one of them. It will provide virtually the entire city with electricity except for factories. Similar power plants are being built on other rivers as well. “The number also includes woodworking enterprises, furniture enterprises, infrastructure projects like the road to Mogilev. Doing it, we spur the economy and invest a lot in it. The infrastructure is an important area,” concluded the President.
Speaking about the prospects of the Belarus-USA relations following the presidential election in the United States, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he expects no changes in Belarus-USA relations after the election in the USA regardless of who wins the vote. “As far as changes in the USA policy towards Belarus are concerned, you know that little will change regardless of whether incumbent President Obama or Romney wins the vote,” believes the Belarusian head of state.
Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: “That country has a great inertia. It is like a bulldozer moving around the world and it will be very difficult to turn it or turn it around. I don’t think the oratories voiced by Romney these days, who positions himself slightly differently than Obama, can be trusted. These are just words. The things they say they don’t always do after they get elected”.
The Belarus President stressed: “This is why I don’t hope that much that something will change in our relations with the USA”.
Aleksandr Lukashenko expressed his opinion regarding the reasons for negative estimates of the election in Belarus given by the West and the OSCE.
“Such an organization would be needed if it pursued the goals that were declared at its inception. The whole problem is that the West and America were interested in the OSCE when they faced off the powerful Soviet Union. Today, they do not need this organization, and we do not need it either since it is not fulfilling its functions,” the head of state told reporters. This is the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Today the OSCE does not deal with security issues, while their cooperation is aimed at confrontation, disorder,” he said.
“What kind of cooperation it is when prior to the elections in Belarus they had an already prepared report which they voiced afterwards. The same happened with Ukraine. Prior to this they had these drafts. The OSCE voiced them although in Ukraine the elections were absolutely democratic,” the President of Belarus said.
“These standards don’t exist. Together with Russia and other countries, including Kazakhstan and Ukraine, we have insisted on working out these standards and unifying them,” said the President. “But these standards don’t exist. These standards are interpreted any way anyone wants,” he stressed.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, CIS observers primarily base their judgment on criteria, “which are closest to all of us”. “This way we evaluate elections here, within the CIS framework and these evaluations are contrary to the OSCE evaluations because the OSCE tries to force its own standards upon us. Not even its own standards but nonexistent standards, which are completely politically biased,” remarked the head of state.
As a proof of these double standards Aleksandr Lukashenko referred to the USA that positions itself as a stronghold of democracy: “So international observers arrive and get told that if they cross the threshold, they will be arrested. What if we acted like that? We invite them and Americans act as observers in Belarus. We don’t arrest them,” said the President. “But even today they want to be able to count votes. It is a manifestation of double and triple standards. We cannot allow it”.
“I haven’t noticed any concern here about elections in the USA. I don’t show any concern nor does our government. The Minsk mayor, the Central Election Commission, the oblast governors don’t and even reporters don’t,” said the President. “They can hold elections any way they want. The entire world laughs at these elections. First, these are indirect elections, second, a man with fewer votes can become the president. What kind of elections are those? But they like it this way, it is the tradition, the people are silent while the leaders are pleased. Well, may god be with you”.
“Don’t stress yourselves over it. Whatever we do here, if we pursue a policy in the interests of our nation in order to preserve independence and self-determination, in order to decide where to go, it will not be advantageous for them. And they will challenge us and bomb until their people rise to power in this country,” the Belarusian leader is convinced.“We should build our own life and repel those who infringe it,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.