Working meeting with Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov

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It is essential to hit all 2015 forecast targets, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave this instruction to the government at the working meeting with Belarus Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov on 6 August.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus has set out very basic tasks in the economy. "The first task is to sell what we produce. Not to store the products at warehouses or take them somewhere for consignment storage. I have even involved the special services to keep these things under control,” the President said.

“I have been forced to do this because our government, its individual members, and officials have started to report on the production figures ignoring some other things. Ok. You produced your goods, but where did you sell them? And not even that is important. You can sell wherever you want. The most important thing is money. Where’s the money?” stressed the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this problem should be solved this year by all means. "We should meet the goals that we have set for ourselves, and address these very basic tasks. We should do our best to keep labor groups in place. I see how some managers behave. They forget that tomorrow they will be retirees themselves and will probably need protection. We need to deal with problems in a humane way,” said the Belarusian leader.

"As for the conceptual suggestions, I do not want to create a bourgeois or a bourgeois-democratic society where there will be a gap between the rich, the business, or government officials and so on and ordinary people. This gap will necessarily lead to scandals as minimum, and revolutions as maximum. We have already been there. The society will be destabilized, and maybe we will repeat the Ukrainian scenario, and maybe even without external interference,” said the head of state.

He warned the government against the far-out proposals which are difficult to implement. "We need the proposals that will allow our people to live normally today and tomorrow," he said.

"I have seen many states go through such reforms and the consequences of such reforms. Some part of our society wants reforms, something like 1 million jobs. But no one thinks that jobs are needed tomorrow to sell products. And there’s another moment: where we will get this one million people for one million jobs? You know these are populist slogans. And secondly, to create a million jobs will require $10 billion and possibly more. After all, these must be the jobs to create good products,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“I urge the government to fulfill all forecast targets this year,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

“I understand that there are difficulties. But imagine that there is war in the economy or an emergency situation. We must do our best to hit all the targets this year in these warlike economic conditions,” the President said.

The head of state inquired what the government is doing to solve the issue.

“We must solve these practical issues. People do not want us to do something extraordinary! They understand that external factors created 80% of this situation. It is not our fault,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

“But we will have to strain every sinew to find the way out. We must do it. We cannot wait for improvements in the neighboring countries, traditional markets. You are aware of the trends. Therefore, we will have to be aggressive, compete with others and penetrate new markets. This is a task for everyone,” the President emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it is planned to discuss strategic issues regarding the development of the country in 2016-2020.

“I do not want to reproach the current government. But they have stated this practice: when they are struggling with something and fail to achieve the results they report to the President or the society of some future ambitious projects, some long-term prospects. When I look into these things which are of conceptual importance for our country I always think who will fulfill these plans,” the head of state noted.

“Second, people should not only think about tomorrow, of course, it is very important, but people live today. We must do out utmost to ensure normal living standards,” the President stressed. He said that this is not pre-election rhetoric. “Frankly speaking, I do need such rhetoric. This is not my goal,” the head of state said.