Meeting to discuss measures to counteract sanctions

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  • 7:35

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a government session to discuss measures to counteract the sanctions on 7 October.

The head of state recalled a previous decision to meet with the government every three months or more often if necessary to discuss economic matters.

“We must do our best to protect ordinary families and workers from the actions of our runaway traitors and their western sponsors and mentors. Those people are running away to Europe and America and are begging for sanctions against Belarus,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“Today nobody has any doubts that this rampant blackmail is not aimed at promoting any human rights,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

In his words, the main goals of sanctions are to get rid of direct competitors, to destroy key enterprises and to put them out of business, and to ultimately stifle the Belarusian economy. “To put it more bluntly, through the closure of enterprises and mass unemployment they want to impoverish people and make them riot. We cannot and will not let it happen,” the President said.

The head of state noted that a hybrid war is being waged against Belarus and sanctions are its economic component. “We need not only to promptly and coherently respond to all challenges, but also to actively take preventive measures, to look for ways out of the current situation. We have an open economy; we sell 60% of what we make in foreign markets,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state mentioned that before the government session he had a conversation with Venezuela President’s Special Envoy Adan Chavez Frias: “We unanimously agreed that we need to restore and significantly strengthen our cooperation.”

Speaking about the Western sanctions, the President noted that he would not want to dramatize the situation. “According to the prime minister, the government is making no drama out of it, either. I like the determination to confront the sanctions. This is how we should work. If we come across any problematic issues, let's address them. We are already used to all sorts of sanctions, and this is not the first time we have faced them. Another round of attempts to restrain and intimidate us is turning against the business and the economy of the country that imposes the sanctions. It is already taking its toll on the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine. We maintain contacts with representatives of these states through many channels, and all of them admit it, and not only them,” the head of state emphasized.

The President noted that Belarus is located not somewhere in the corner of the planet or in the corner of some region, but at the very crossroads. “It is impossible to count out the country located in the center of Europe. This is insanity,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is sure.

The head of state drew attention to the fact that Belarus has always been a reliable partner in foreign markets.

“We are strengthening our focus on Africa and Asia where 5.5 billion people live - 70% [of the world’s population],” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that the current situation is a challenge for Belarus, the country was definitely knocked out of its comfort zone. “Yet, this is also a time to explore new opportunities, to mobilize and achieve results, regardless of any pressure,” he said. As a case in point, the head of state mentioned Russia that responded to sanctions by turning inward and making a giant step forward in a number of areas. “Listen, together we can do more,” the President stressed.

Speaking about the domestic economy, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that over the eight months the Belarusian economy performed better than projected in terms of output, export and household income. “I have already said: the key task is to maintain momentum until the end of the year. And it will be a huge success, if not a feat,” the President said.

The head of state asked to brief him on the performance of ministries and departments, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as embassies and trade representatives.

Separately, he gave an instruction to update him on the situation in the potash, oil and aviation industries, in particular, at what stage is the agreement with the Russian Federation on seaports and on the opening of new routes, not forgetting about the existing ones.

“Taking into account that special groups have been set up in the government, I ask you to inform them as concretely as possible. If it is necessary to address issues (and now they need to be addressed quickly), there should be no red tape. All issues should be settled as soon as possible,” the President warned.