Belarus President partakes in Victory Day celebrations
Belarus has everything to defend itself, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when talking to the media on 9 May.
On defense capacity
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that Belarus is reforming its armed forces, the third time in just two decades. “We make conclusions and learn lessons from what is happening around the world,” the President said. “The world is not calm, wars are raging. We carefully watch what is happening, make conclusions and therefore adjust our armed forces so that they could defend our Fatherland. We have everything to defend our land,” the head of state said.
The President stressed that the economy is extremely important for Belarus. “With the economy developing normally, we will ensure peace, security and internal stability. Our people should not worry about this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state pointed out that Belarus learns history lessons. “We learned these lessons and understand that we need to keep the powder dry. But the most important thing in peacetime is to keep guns parked and unpark them only for exercises. This is what we do,” he said. “The main thing is to have unity in the country. Then we will it cope with any threats,” the head of state summed up.
On development of small populated areas
The head of state noted that Belarus has improved major population centers, agro-towns. “Next on the list are small villages. They should be improved too. If people decide to stay there, we will modernize the infrastructure for them,” the President said.
The question addressed to the Belarusian leader was about Vitebsk Oblast. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the region requires more attention because it is home to more little villages than any other region. “Probably we will not be able to restore each of these settlements which are home to literally three or four houses. But we must do everything to ensure that families with children live normal lives there. If the kids need a ride to school this means we they will get such a service,” the President said.
“This year’s focus will be on local roads in Belarus. It is expected that within three to four years, they will be fully put in order,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
On migration processes in Belarus and Europe
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko compared the migration processes in Europe and Belarus when answering the questions of journalists.
“What is important is the reasons why people come and from where. Ukrainians came to Belarus. They came because we destroyed their homes? No. They came to save their families. They ran from the destruction in eastern Ukraine. They came to us for salvation and we, as human beings, should help them. These are their reasons,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Migrants from the Middle East flock to Western countries for different reasons. “What is happening in the Middle East? They, including the Europeans, came there. Remember this Arab arc? They started with Tunisia, which was a beautiful country, a holiday spot. Why did they turn the country upside down?” the President asked a rhetoric question. “They bombed, destroyed. They brought ‘democracy’ there,” he said.
The conflicts also broke out in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. Many cities were razed to the ground; local people, including women and children, were killed. These events have contributed to the development of terrorism. “Thus they flocked to Europe: some with revenge on their minds, others to find jobs,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “How they welcomed them? With reservations, separate settlements. Thus the migrants created their own enclaves there, with certain sentiments on their minds.”
“This is the difference between us and other countries. Migrants come to them in search of, at least, a piece of bread, let alone happiness,” the Belarusian leader said. “You need to be more caring, kinder to people. Then you will get kindness in return,” he added.
On holding big international tournaments in Belarus
The head of state noted that hosting international tournaments helps Belarus improve its image and attract tourists. But the main important thing is that it gives an impetus to the development of the sports sector. “Most important is the development of sport in our country,” he said.
For example, in 2018 Belarus will host the 2018 FIBA Under-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup. “Do you think this will bring us many tourists? Unlikely. But it will definitely give a boost to the development of the sport,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
Besides, Belarus and Latvia will fight to host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 2021, Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “The competition is strong - Finland. But the question is not whether our bid wins or not. We would bid and lose in the past. But finally we got the right to host the IIHF World Championship in 2014. Therefore, we must do our best. If we do not host the tournament in 2021, then we will in 2022 or in 2023. We will bring the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship to Belarus,” he said.
On Belarusian ice hockey
“The situation in hockey is so inadequate that after the world championship we will meet and will think what to do next (we have already agreed about this with the coaches and athletes),” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We have recently had failures in hockey, in football and in biathlon where we have always been at the top. We cannot allow that to happen,” the President said.
“Why do I react so badly. It is because the sport is the greatest ideology,” the President said.
On 9 May, Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic war. The President laid a wreath at the VictoryMonument in Minsk, talked to the representatives of the diplomatic corps and veterans.
The number of the Great Patriotic War veterans gets fewer every year, and, as the President emphasized, it is important that the younger generation should not forget about them.
The head of state recalled that in due time a course on the Great Patriotic War was introduced in educational institutions in Belarus. It has brought results.
The flower ceremony was followed by a march by the guards of honor and a theatrical performance.