State of the Nation Address by Belarus President

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The security of the country lies in the unity of the people, a strong domestic and foreign policy of the state, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in his State of the Nation Address on 24 April.

“Mankind is facing a crossroads. We have entered an age of uncertainty and prolonged instability. There is no longer a place on the planet where one can hide and watch the ongoing processes from afar. Security has become a tangible phenomenon. Today everybody sees that it is easy to lose it and that it takes heroic effort to keep it. The fight for a place in the world hierarchy has intensified. Strategic rivalry, competition between the states have become commonplace. All this is accompanied by the escalating tensions and confrontations that have already started to go off-scale,” the President said.

“We see aggressive lobbying, the imposition of one’s economic and political will, and open hostility towards opponents. National egoism, disrespect for interests of partners and even allies, egocentrism and the violation of international norms gradually become an integral part of the policy of the world’s major players,” the Belarusian leader said.

According to the president, trade wars have swept the world. “The United States, being guided by tough protectionism, is fighting against China. A large-scale war of sanctions has been launched against Russia. We have already reached the point when the EU, following the advice from overseas, restricts the operation of its own companies that work together with our eastern neighbor on the oil market. We do not have to go far for examples. Take, for example, the dairy, meat and sugar conflicts that our closest partner  wages against us by blocking access for Belarusian natural products to its market,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the world trading system is in fact breaking down. Under these circumstances, Belarus’ peace-loving and balanced foreign policy as well as its initiatives, such as the promotion of connectivity in the Greater Europe, partnership between various integration associations, renewal of the pan-European dialogue on strengthening confidence-building measures, security and cooperation is of utmost relevance today. “Belarus, with its social and political concord, interfaith peace and multipronged policy, is of special value for our allies,” the President said.

In his words, it is crucial to keep the balance inside the country amid a growing unrest across the world. “We can see how it is easy to spread havoc and hysteria in the current digital age. This is how they start color revolutions in the 21st century which have a sad ending for their participants. I would suggest those who are debating whether we need an army or the police visit the countries that witnessed the Arab Spring or Europe which had to deal with a migration wave and ask ordinary people there if they feel safe at home,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state stated with regret that once again the countries have decided to rely on force, including the military force, as a way to ensure and promote their interests. “We hear statements that the cold war, even a colder one, has returned. This is an explosive situation. It clearly demonstrates how fragile the world can be,” he said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that any achievements of civilization, wealth and ambitious personal successes pale away in the face of the threat. “We understand that our security is in the unity of the people, a strong domestic and foreign policy of the state,” the President said.

“Stability and cohesion of the society, its unity have come at a price. We have something to lose and to defend. It is better to realize it in time. So that we would not face the situation which people describe as ‘things are only treasured after they are gone,” the head of state noted.

He stressed that the responsibility for peace and order lies with every resident of Belarus: starting from one’s own family, household, city or village, and ending with the country. “If we are together, then we are a force capable of withstanding any challenges,” the Belarusian leader said.