New Year Address from President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko

    Dear friends,

    We are so different but the last minutes of the old year make us similar to each other because we are united by the feeling of solemnity and grandeur of the moment.

    Virtually in a few minutes the leap year 2012 will become part of the archives of history.

    As you remember a year ago we marked New Year with suspicion and concern. But these worries were unfounded. The year was peaceful. We followed our own way. We lived upon our wits, we did not thoughtlessly copy anyone’s models. We did not offend others and did not create problems for our neighbors.

    We went through quite a lot. But we were always together enhancing inseparable spiritual bonds and solidarity of the united family – the Belarusian nation.

    In the passing year we have done a lot for the development of our country. We reaped bumper harvest of crops. We launched our own space vehicle and started building the nuclear power station.

    We promoted education and healthcare to a brand-new level. We restored renowned world heritage sites.

    Our students, pupils, artists and even athletes made Belarus famous by their victories on the global arena.

    But the main thing is that the Belarusian population increased by 115,000 children. This figure exceeds the level of the previous year by approximately 6,500.

    I say approximately because, perhaps, in the last moments of the old year somebody became happier than we are upon hearing baby’s charming voice.

    I admire those who bore babies as children are our future. Children are the foundation of our independence, wellbeing, and prosperity. And the society should do its utmost to preserve this great treasure, guard every child against hardship and misfortune.

    In the Year of Frugality we should learn to take care of each other, not to disregard someone’s troubles, be more attentive and kind to our neighbors.

    The oncoming year will become a turning point for the economy. We do not have another choice as quality improvement and prompt modernization of enterprises guarantee strengthening of our statehood and promote wellbeing of the nation.

    In 2013 Belarus will preside in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Our country’s presidency will be focused on nature protection. This is a God’s gift and we should learn to use nature rationally and to preserve it for future generations.

    We should do our best to make God-given native land a lovely and comfortable home for every citizen.

    Dear friends,

    Chronicles of the Homeland include names and fates of millions of people.

    Having gone by many uneasy historical paths, we deserved the right to be happy.

    We face the future with confidence. We know where to go and what to do. We believe in ourselves and in the inexhaustible potential of the nation.

    We are very rich. We have millions of skillful hands, talented, smart and wise people.

    I propose the New Year toast to those who were born and will be born in the near future. And to their parents!

    I propose the toast to elderly people whose life experience serves as a guideline and support for us!

    I propose the toast to our fair and caring, loved and loving women!

    I propose the toast to the military that ensure peace and security in the native land!

    I propose the toast to the Belarusian intellectuals who create spiritual wealth of the nation!

    I propose the toast to workers and farmers, heads of companies and specialists who multiply the country’s welfare!

    May all resentments and grieves stay in the old year. May the New Year bring you happiness and joyful changes in lives!

    I wish you health, peace and a lot of good.

    Happy New Year!

    Aleksandr Lukashenko