Session to discuss topical issues of economic development

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There is no need to change the course of the state, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the session held on 26 January to discuss topical issues of economic development.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the government has determined a number of issues which have to be solved at the level of the head of state. The President emphasized that he has been thinking over the proposals of the government for several weeks.

“I do not think it is possible and necessary to change the course (in case there are such proposals) in this situation. This is the course which helped us acquire independence and create our state. And today I cannot allow breaking anything, putting excessive pressure on people without any results, I am absolutely against it,” the head of state said.

“I would like you to be committed to the policy that we had promised to our people during the election campaign. We cannot lie to people. Otherwise, we will carry out the so-called reforms for ourselves; they will be rejected by people. It will mess up the minds of people and destabilize the situation, then if we lose control, perhaps, the face of the government and money, we will have to do even more than we have to do today to repay the external debt,” the Belarusian leader remarked.

“The government should not be a kind of an office. Given the difficult economic situation the government must enable the so-called mode of manual control of the economy where necessary. It should provide all kinds of help to everyone: enterprises, governors, local authorities and require flawless execution of the decisions taken and also mobilization of efforts and high productivity of work,” the head of state said. He added that everybody should be focused on results.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the proposal of the government to discuss the recent trends on international markets, fist of all, in the Russian Federation, connected with the instability of the Russian ruble and oil prices, was the reason why today’s session was convened. The head of state pointed out that Belarus depends on oil prices as the country refines about 22-23 million tonnes of oil per year.

Speaking about the Russian ruble, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the Russian Federation is the major market for Belarusian products. “We cannot neglect this fact. We have to keep an eye on the development of Russia and its economy, be aware of the trends there,” the head of state said.

“The situation on other external markets we are working with is far from being perfect too. The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other organizations analyzing global economic trends also make negative forecasts. Monthly reduction is 0.5%, 1%,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “It is clear that these are just forecasts, but they have a certain psychological and actual impact on the development of various industries, including our economy, in these market conditions.”

In these conditions it is needed t protect the domestic market.

"The domestic market is not protected. I have said this repeatedly. The situation is closely watched today. So far it is not in favor of the government. We will see how things develop in the future,” the head of state noted.

“Without the measures to protect the domestic market, without the use of possibilities for our people (although they are not that big) but still, to give our market away means doing nothing inside his country, and heroically overcoming these complex trends in foreign markets,” the President believes.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, “to encourage Belarusians buy domestic goods, local manufacturers should produce affordable and quality products.” “We can do it. The main point is to get things going,” the President stressed addressing the government.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that a monitoring group has been created to analyze these issues. The President stressed that the course of the state is the criterion of making decisions.