Aleksandr Lukashenko makes personnel decisions

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko made personnel decisions on 28 July.

The head of state appointed:

Gennady Trubilo as Housing and Utilities Minister;

Aleksei Lyakhnovich as Transport and Communications Minister;

Igor Brylo as Aide to the President - Inspector for Vitebsk Oblast.

The president gave the go-ahead to the appointment of:

Oleg Zhebin as Naftan Director General;

Vitaly Osipenko as SvetlogorskKhimvolokno Director General;

Aleksei Bevzyuk as Director of AGAT - Control Systems - Managing Company of Geoinformation Control Systems Holding;

Oleg Buyanov as Orsha Linen Mill Director General;

Yuri Aleksei as Director General of the National Film Studio Belarusfilm;

Yuri Golubev as Rector of Alexander Pushkin Brest State University;

Andrei Romashko as Deputy Housing and Utilities Minister;

Denis Korzhitsky as First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology;

Viktor Ragussky as Deputy Chairman of the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee (in charge of construction, housing and utilities);

Sergei Lobodinsky as member of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee;

Yelena Bogdan as Deputy State Secretary - Member of the Standing Committee of the Union State.

Belarus President has outlined tasks for Gennady Trubilo and Aleksei Lyakhnovich, who have been appointed new heads of the Housing and Utilities Ministry and the Transport and Communications Ministry.

Both ministers have been working as first deputy ministers in the respective ministries up till now. The president drew attention to this fact: “Apart from the tasks I’d like you to accomplish, I think it is more important that you know better than I do what needs to be done in the areas of work you’ve been entrusted with. Frankly speaking, I don’t remember that we have ever appointed deputy ministers as ministers. We’ve always looked for and selected new people. We wanted new professionals, who know these things, to come and take a fresh look at this or that agency. But in this case I believe that both appointees are well-trained people. I cannot say that the ministries and the former ministers had not been working well. This is why we opted for deputy ministers.”

At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko outlined tasks for each minister.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I expect the ministry to be, first of all, visible. You understand what I am talking about. And secondly, I want this ministry to finally prove that it needs to exist. That the country needs the Housing and Utilities Ministry. It is no secret for you that I am constantly getting proposals on liquidating this ministry or incorporating it into some other ministry because allegedly the functions overlap. Many functions are realized by municipal government agencies. Some belong to the Architecture and Construction Ministry. Allied ones and so on.”

The president disagreed with this approach: “Even if you deal with construction or capital repairs at times while the Architecture and Construction Ministry exists in parallel, everyone will have plenty of work to do. Naturally, you shouldn’t do what municipal authorities and the Architecture and Construction Ministry will be doing. I don’t think the Housing and Utilities Ministry had intruded a lot into their authority and functions.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko explained why he keeps the Housing and Utilities Ministry in place. Because complaints about housing and utilities top the list of complaints submitted to the head of state and the Belarus President Administration.

“You have to introduce novelties into this system, strictly control the execution of this entire functionality, which is entrusted to municipal authorities and other organizations. And I would like to see fewer complaints. I understand that it has always been like that. People have always lacked something: either a fence has not been repaired or a roof or a balcony,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president pointed out that it is necessary to clearly delineate functions and determine where the housing and utilities area starts. “Naturally, we have to repair balconies. An individual person cannot do it. But [the person] should be the one to repair a fence or the roof of a single-family house. Yes, we will fix the roof of an apartment building. In other words, it is necessary to clearly delineate functions. And where the Housing and Utilities Ministry has to get involved. Well, and the overall administration,” he explained.

“I don’t think that I have to tell you in detail what you should do, Gennady Alekseyevich [Trubilo]. You are an experienced man. You have worked in this sphere for a very long time and I strongly hope that this ministry will be visible,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

“As for the Transport and Communications Ministry, well, you know that we also have plenty of issues inside the country. And in mutual relations with our key partners. Both Russia and China. Particularly Russia. Transit and so on. A lot of issues exist,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the relevant matters had also been discussed at a recent meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. “After the latest meeting with the Russian president I explained our approaches and agreements to [Prime Minister of Belarus Roman] Golovchenko. No rejection anywhere. Your job is to work,” he stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko quoted the Russian president as saying that the Russian counterpart of the new Belarusian minister is a very capable and talented person, who knows how to do his job. “It is truly so. We have to come to terms. Because logistics has become more complicated and, let’s say, tariffs on our goods are a serious matter. We would like these tariffs [on freight transportation and transshipment] to be lower. So that enterprises would not operate in the red due to logistics. Well, there is also the rolling stock and other matters. There are very many issues with the transportation of people. You will have to take care of all of it,” the head of state said.

The transfer of the former Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo to the position of Aide to the President - Inspector for Vitebsk Oblast should not be viewed as sidelining, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“I have already told you, Igor. If you perceive this as sidelining, it is your problem. You need to go through this stage. And if you immerse yourself entirely in your new role, you will make it, and this will be a very useful personal experience for you. As a scientist and an ideological worker with hands-on experience, you have everything to succeed. Now you need to come down to earth if you want to continue working. You still have a lot of time till retirement. Therefore, you need to get your act together and produce the result. This is my offer to you,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he appreciates Igor Brylo’s readiness to take up a new job: "You are a soldier and you act like a soldier, and I really appreciate it.”

In his message to Igor Brylo, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked him not to override the governor: “He understands who you are. After all, you are a former minister. He is fully aware of this. But don’t put pressure on him; make sure your functions will not overlap. Focus on personnel matters. You are responsible for personnel. I have been told that the person in charge of agriculture in the region [Vitebsk Oblast deputy governor] is really good at his job. Check if this is true. In general, your area of responsibility is personnel matters.”

“If necessary, report directly. You know, I often go there. You can call or make a report at any time. But Vitebsk Oblast should be up to scratch. The situation is not easy. You understand this better than anyone. And you yourself were responsible [for Vitebsk Oblast]. Therefore, it is necessary to work there with full dedication,” the Belarusian leader added.

There is a strong demand for products made by Belarusian oil refineries. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he authorized the appointment of Oleg Zhebin as Director General of OAO Naftan.

Oleg Zhebin has been working as a deputy director general (for chemical manufacturing) at the Polymir plant of OAO Naftan up till now.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Naftan and Mozyr Oil Refinery are closely monitored. Make sure to keep things in order. It seems that the performance of the oil refineries has been fixed. And Russians, the Russian president did great. They helped us a lot.”

“They are well-supplied with raw materials and are working steadily,” Oleg Zhebin confirmed.

The president stressed that it will be no problem to secure more raw materials. A favorable development of economic conditions is what matters. “If you need more raw materials, it will not be a problem. If economy doesn’t get worse, if it gets better, then surely raw materials will not be a problem. Products get sold, too. The demand is huge. Exporters tell me that we can sell anything we chose to export. In other words, you will be able to work in any situation. This is why I wish you success,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Belarusian manufacturers should explore new export destinations despite the openness and accessibility of the traditional Russian market. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions as he authorized the appointment of new heads of a number of key enterprises.

In particular, the matter was raised during a conversation with Vitaly Osipenko, who has just been appointed Director General of OAO SvetlogorskKhimvolokno. He has been working as the first deputy director, chief engineer of OAO Gomel Chemical Plant up till now. Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered about the performance of this enterprise.

Vitaly Osipenko said: “At present the enterprise satisfies all the applications from consumers for mineral fertilizers ahead of the forthcoming sowing campaign. We make new kinds of fertilizers.”

All the needs of the domestic market will be covered like that, Vitaly Osipenko assured.

“What about export?” the president kept asking.

According to Vitaly Osipenko, most of the exports are shipped to the Russian market. The Belarusian company also offers niche products, which major Russian manufacturers are unwilling to supply. “We have found our niche: a unique product with microelements and additives. And we offer it. Russian consumers eagerly buy it,” he said.

The president wondered whether Belarusian consumers are interested in compound mixed fertilizers. “There are issues with this interest. As for the technical side of things, we can satisfy the entire demand of the home market for compound fertilizers,” the head of the enterprise assured.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, it is necessary to correctly orientate the government and all the responsible individuals. “You see they put potassium separately into soil, phosphorus separately, and nitrogen separately. You offer a compound product,” the head of state explained.

“In one granule,” Vitaly Osipenko confirmed.

“Everything in one granule. Well, they should buy it. It produces a good effect. These products are sold in Russia, across the globe. But it is necessary to tell everyone that they cannot put eggs in one basket. Russia is a close country, a kindred country for us and the rest. But you know that they have these technologies and make these fertilizers. And they will make compound, mixed fertilizers and what not. This is why competition is a thing. And we need a broader spectrum of export so that we would not be pushed out of the only market. It is your task,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

He remarked that the enterprise is working quite well and has a lot of promise. “But logistics matters. There are issues. They need to be addressed,” Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded.

It is important to grow flax since flax flowers are on the country’s national emblem. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned it as he authorized the appointment of Oleg Buyanov as Director General of Orsha Linen Mill.

Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered: “Oleg Alekseyevich [Buyanov], have you ever had to deal with the work of Orsha Linen Mill?”

Oleg Buyanov gave a positive answer: “Of course, I have. I’ve been studying all the information about the enterprise just now. As a matter of principle, the enterprise is working rather effectively. There are imbalances in some indicators. First of all, those are imbalances in commercial operations. Large assets are tied up. There are problems with export. Because the enterprise has been unable to compensate for the exports to Europe so far.”

According to the new executive, it is necessary to work on the raw materials supply of the enterprise, because it represents the foundation that allows the enterprise to grow these days. Deeper processing of raw materials is also on the agenda.

Oleg Buyanov concluded: “These are the three main tasks that I expect the enterprise will have to accomplish. And move forward.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko concluded: “In short, you will be able to make gunpowder out of short fibers.”

“Yes, Mr. President,” Oleg Buyanov responded.

It is worth noting that gunpowder can be made out of flax and specialists believe that the resulting gunpowder will be more powerful than the conventional cotton-based gunpowder.

The president explained what he had in mind. Expanding the lineup of products made of flax is the idea. “I am hinting that it is necessary to expand this lineup. You shouldn’t make only these traditional ropes, sacks, and fabrics. You have to take a broader look and see what sells on the market these days,” he said.

The new executive knows the situation at the enterprise and is ready work. The president reminded about his special attitude to Orsha Linen Mill where Aleksandr Lukashenko’s mother had worked back in the day: “Watch out. I often visit the place. It is my native enterprise. My mother used to work there. But my personal feelings don’t matter. Although I still feel a bit nostalgic about it: I visited it often when I was a school student, I toured this linen mill. You know that it is a political enterprise. We have flax on our national emblem. This is why I would like you very much to work actively. If you see how the situation with raw materials can be fixed, I will be grateful. If there are problems with export, well, they are your problems.”

The head of state stressed that it is necessary to continue working with Europeans, for instance, despite the current situation. “Don’t think that nobody needs our fabrics because of the sanctions. Flax is needed everywhere. Starting with Russia, which grows flax and ending with [countries] to the south of us. They don’t grow flax. But the fabrics are good. This is why you just have to organize things. You and I will meet there after some time. Maybe next year. And you will tell me about the areas that need to be taken care of at this enterprise,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of the state has set a number of tasks for the new director general of the National Film Studio Belarusfilm Yuri Aleksei.

“Our film industry is a disaster,” the head of state said. “I am telling you right away that people in charge will be held accountable. Why so? Directors come and go and there is no result! The facilities are good, not worse than in other countries, including Russia. Apparently, we also share the blame for the situation because our personnel decisions were not entirely right. Maybe we did not pay enough attention to this matter.”

Speaking about the role of cinematography, Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled Vladimir Lenin’s statement who said that “of all the arts the most important for us is the cinema”. “Great Lenin spoke about this, you know this very well, too. And this is true, indeed,” the president noted. He stressed that the ideological and educational impact of cinema is unmatched. And now movies are watched not only on TV, but also via the internet.

According to the head of state, he really counts on the active work of Yuri Aleksei in his new role, but once again warned of responsibility for results. “We need to release a certain number of films in all kinds of genres and for all kinds of audiences. We might follow Russia’s path. Of course, we should not show as much bloodshed, banditry, murders, guns, rifles, feuds and so on. Though, we have lived through some periods that we need to show people on screen, the truth about these events. We should highlight really important and relevant topics (we have enough of them) in our films that would have an impact on people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. 

According to the president, one of the promising areas of work is cooperation between Belarusfilm and national television channels, Belteleradiocompany. Moreover, they are now updating their material and upgrading technology, equipping new studios, and exploring new areas of activity. “Therefore, you need to join efforts. You need to band together and act,” the president emphasized.