Opening of 23rd International Festival of Arts Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk

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On 10 July President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the opening ceremony of the 23rd International Festival of Arts Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk.

“Slavonic culture, one of the most ancient, original and opulent cultures in the world which embodied Eastern and Western traditions and preserved the intellectual and spiritual legacy of many generations, is a source of strength and energy of the festival,” the head of state said at the opening ceremony of the festival.

“The group of Slavonic peoples is the largest in the world. The unity of Slavs was always revealed in the critical moments of history regardless of the fates of concrete ethnic groups. It is relevant today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“We, Slavs, value and revere talent. We do not divide talented people into insiders and outsiders. Therefore, the festival welcomes representatives of different continents, countries and nations. The project is not just the Slavonic forum. Every year it expands artistic and, what is also important, geographic boundaries. Slavonic Bazaar does not lose its kernel – the art of brotherly peoples of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine who stood at the origins of it,” the President remarked.

Speaking about the situation in Ukraine, the head of state said: “There is no war between peoples today. People in Ukraine do not fight with Belarusians, Russians and even with Ukrainians. There are worthless, unprincipled politicians who underestimated this unity and its importance. A rift emerged and our adversaries and enemies took advantage of it. They are trying to pit peoples against each other. They are trying to foment a fratricidal war and mire the core of the Slavonic community – Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians – into this funnel, this whirlpool. It should never happen. The Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk is a pillar and guarantee of the unity of Slavonic peoples.

The Belarusian head of state presented UnionState awards in literature and art to sculptor Ivan Misko and famous specialist in architecture Inessa Slyunkova (Russia). The special presidential prize “Through Art to Peace and Understanding” was conferred on People’s Artist of the Russian Federation Nadezhda Babkina.