Elections to House of Representatives of Belarus’ National Assembly

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On 11 September Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the elections to the House of Representatives of the Belarusian National Assembly.

The head of state inspected the operation of the polling station and talked to observers. The President also answered reporters’ questions. He was talking about a wide range of issues such as the functions of new MPs, the country’s political life, the Belarusian-Russian gas talks, the relations with the West, other important social and political issues.

The head of state said that Belarus has been developing dialogue with the West without compromising the relations with the East. “There is no speaking about this. Our destiny is to be a bridge between the East and the West,” the Belarusian leader underlined.

“We have a multi-vector foreign policy. I do not think that there is a Belarusian who will criticize the authorities for this. Because we are situated in the heart of Europe,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

According to the President, the diplomatic representation at the level of ambassadors may be restored. “We have agreed upon it. When? You better ask the American side. I think that the issue will be addressed after the elections of the U.S. president. I agree with you that this is not normal (and it was not us who initiated the recall of the ambassadors). We agreed to settle the issue in the near future,” the President of Belarus said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko shared his opinion about the election campaign in the United States, its possible results.

Speaking about the elections in Belarus, the head of state said that Belarus has done everything to make the West happy with our election campaign. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, any politician, especially the head of state, does not want any restrictions and sanctions imposed against his country. “Yes, we were not happy with the sanctions. The fact that they were lifted shows that we were right. We did not deserve those sanctions. Neither does Russia,” President said.

He stressed, however, that when Belarus is put certain conditions, he first looks at whether it is in the interests of the country, whether it is possible to take this or that step. “If we find it possible, we go ahead. Why unnecessarily strain the situation? So we did everything so that there would be fewer claims towards us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Belarus and Russia have almost agreed on the price for natural gas. “The talks on the matter at the level of the vice premiers completed yesterday. They have almost agreed on the gas price and worked out some sort of a document. We finalized the document and submitted it to the Russian side. Russia perhaps will suggest its variant. The Russian government will consider the documents and introduce their proposals. I think the issue will be settled in the near future,” the President said.

The President also commented on the decision of the Belarusian Paralympic delegation to support the Russian team. “They took two Russian flags away from our disabled athletes at the entry to the stadium. It is good that our guys had an extra one. That was a display of solidarity, protest against injustice. We are in the same boat with the Russians here and will always stand by them,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that presenting the evidence to violation of anti-doping rules was vital and said that a collective ban was inadmissible. The President also supported the proposal to “reshuffle” the International Olympic Committee and especially the World Anti-Doping Agency. He pointed to the case when doping tests of some athletes were accidently destroyed, while those of Belarusian and Russian sportsmen were thoroughly restudied. “How can we know the truth? We have no such a chance. They say they decided so and that’s t. They say the court made the decision. And who are to judge? This is today’s democracy,” the Belarusian leader said.

The language issue cannot be used to divide the society, the Belarusian President believes. “Why do we want to learn English, Spanish, Italian, but not Russian? This is the question for some of our opposition. The Russian language is not foreign to us. This is not just my opinion. This is the opinion of the majority of Belarusians,” the President noted.

“If we start drawing dividing lines in the language issue, this will lead to bad consequences, not only in the relations between Russia and Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President noted that historically, in Belarus the majority has spoken Russian. However, this does not prevent the country from developing its national language and supporting the Belarusian identity.