Aleksandr Lukashenko partakes in wood chopping challenge among journalists

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the wood chopping challenge among journalists on 7 November.

Before the event the President demonstrated how to chop wood correctly. Dmitry Baskov and Sergei Teterin assisted him in his master class.

Aleksandr Lukashenko showed how to chop a large log using an axe and a sledgehammer and then demonstrated his axe skills on a smaller log. “You need to find a crack and the point you would like to hit. And do it along the crack toward the center,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko talked with media as he visited the wood chopping challenge among journalists. During an informal conversation on impromptu chairs made of wooden decks, the head of state fielded a number of topical questions from journalists.

Aleksandr Lukashenko touched upon the Belarusian People's congress. This body, according to the updated Basic Law, has been given a constitutional status, and the bill on the congress has been recently submitted to a public debate.

The head of state responded to some speculations that this is done allegedly to retain power. "Look, it's not about me. Today it's about our children. We should leave them a normal country. Our generation should create a system," he said.

The President stated that the current system in the country is not bad and is working quite well. As an example, he cited the response to distortions in pricing. "Once you apply pressure from above, the entire vertical of power lines up. True, that there were some shortcomings, but it lined up. Not just the vertical of power. Business entities too: both state and private. These are the actions of the government. It is normal. But it cannot be changeless, static. It has to improve. I understand that, and not just because I see the world around me. I understand that we need to move forward. In general, people need to see this movement,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state underlined that innovations should be based on what can be done both in the economic and political sectors at the moment. For example, Belarus has already had six Belarusian People's Congress meetings during the years of independence. “Why not make it constitutional, why not strengthen its role, why not listen to people there, at this forum? It is better to do it not in the street, but there, at the forum. Let us move in this direction,” he cited an example.

The same approach in the economy. “If we can manage the enterprises, let us manage them. If we cannot, let us think what to do, up to privatization or sale,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

He said that state-owned enterprises are set up in the country, too, adding that as practice shows, a private enterprise does not always mean better and more efficiently work. One such example is the company in Miory, where the head of state had to intervene to deal with its issues: “The company works well. If a state-owned enterprise can work, let it work. It is not right to think that private business is the best option for economy to operate. Yes, there are people who work well.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko also pointed out that in Belarus, alike in Western Europe, it is much easier for private business to get access to the authorities to discuss certain problems. “Remote office hours are an anachronism in Belarus. Nobody does it anywhere. This is the way we hear the people, we listen to our people,” the head of state said.

The President believes that residents of the European Union do not want war, but their governments have been unable to put out the fire in their own house.

"Germany, the whole of Europe [the European Union] have no leaders today. I wish they had... They can't put out the fire in their own house," the Belarusian leader said. “Europeans don't want this war. They understand that today it is Ukraine, attempts to destabilize Belarus, tomorrow it will be the whole of Europe that will be blazing."

If a new world war suddenly breaks out, it will not be waged on America’s territory, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. "The only thing that the Americans are afraid of is nuclear weapons because they can reach there. If nuclear weapons are not used, it means that they will fight with conventional weapons. Where? They will fight a war here. We're going to be in this cauldron here. Ukraine is already on fire. Richest country. There is no such country as Ukraine was. The Soviet Union invested hugely in it... The most fertile soil, most beautiful nature! What did they turn the country into? This is a catastrophe," the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the elites of a number of countries do not seek to stop the conflict. On the contrary, they are trying to further the war in order to preserve their own power. "The war will write everything off," he explained the logic behind the actions of a number of politicians.

"Europeans need to wake up and stop the war. They cannot. They are not allowed. The United States has taken advantage of the situation. Are they true leaders if they have allowed the Americans to bring additional nuclear weapons to Europe? They are lunatics.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the leaders in the EU are completely dependent on the United States. Moreover, they lack the will to resist this pressure. There is also economic dependence related to the supply of goods to the premium American market, business interests.

Had the European Union agreed on a partnership with Russia, it would have been a great power, the President is convinced. “No one would be able to destroy it. There are enough resources for three generations ahead. There are super technologies, not worse than in the United States. Let us do it! But there is no one to make a decision there. They are afraid. There are all timeservers. They serve one or two terms and leave for another job,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the Europeans should “think for themselves and decide how to live further”, because the experience, including of the revolution of 1917, shows what ignoring the opinion of the majority of the people can lead to.

The President was asked what to do and how to act so that Belarus should remain a kind of enclave and an example of a socially-oriented state.

"We can talk a lot about it. When talking with people, I always say: do your job. That's the most important thing. So that we never face again what happened in 2020," the head of state said.

He stressed that now it is journalists who are at the forefront: "The main thing in this confrontation is information warfare, information confrontation. So the main thing is you now."

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko there is no hot war now, of course, but still a lot depends on journalists. “You are on the front line. I am with you,” the President said.

“You do not have to be afraid of anyone. If they [opponents] start attacking you, it means you have hit their nerve. If they start referring to you, saying something, that is fine, let them do this. Their trend is: “Look, we do not set the agenda, we wait to see what Lukashenko’s supporters say and then turn it topsy-turvy. Well, that is true. They cannot shape the agenda. How can they do it? That is why they have started calling for shelling... They are crazy. Thanks God they are not politicians. You cannot say such things, even if you want it in your craziest dreams,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“Who in Belarus would follow them today? They have already let themselves drop below the ground level. You cannot do such things. Thank God they are like that. I always say that our opposition should be cherished and nurtured. Let them be like that in the future,” the head of state said jokingly.

"Times are tough. We need to help our people outside our country. People can't buy firewood there. Here we are chopping wood for fun. We need to make sure it is not wasted. We can organize some delivery and bring it to the border. Let Lithuanians, Latvians and Poles, Ukrainians know that we are peaceful people, and that we do not want any war. We are ready to make up the fire and cook shashliks together," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The wood chopping challenge among journalists was held on the bank of the Vyacha River in Logoisk District. The main prize went to Minskaya Pravda agency. In addition to valuable gifts from the organizers, Minskaya Pravda’s journalists received a special gift from the President - an axe with a branded engraving.

The head of state thanked both the organizers of the competition and its participants. “I often say thtat any state is strong with its traditions. Maybe our meeting today with these strong people (and these are, first of all, villagers and foresters) will give us good mood and health for many years,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.