Working trip to Mogilev Oblast

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Time has shown that the decision to rehabilitate the Chernobyl-affected areas was the right one, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said when talking to the residents of the town of Slavgorod and Slavgorod District. He visited this region as part of the working trip to Mogilev Oblast on 26 April.

On the anniversary of the Chernobyl accident the head of state traditionally visits Chernobyl-hit regions, talked to people and inspected local companies.

The President was informed about the progress in the spring sowing campaign which is nearing completion in Belarus, including in Mogilev Oblast and Slavgorod District. Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko was informed about the social and economic development of Mogilev Oblast and Slavgorod District, about the social protection of people hit by the Chernobyl accident. The head of state was told about the fulfillment of his instructions to develop south-east regions. The corresponding program has been prepared and will be submitted to the President in the near future.

The President visited the Slavogorodsky branch of OAO Babushkina Krynka - the management company of the Mogilev-based dairy Babushkina Krynka. There he was made familiar the technological processes of cheese production.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked whether the funds invested in the technical retooling of the enterprise paid off. Modernization of the company took place in 2009. The head of state was told that the project paid off within three and a half years. The President was assured that all products of the company are sold.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was also interested in the situation with the delivery of products to foreign markets and demanded to bolster export. The head of state was told that the company’s cheeses are exported to Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine. Local cheese makers are also trying to branch out into new markets.

Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the 4th regional arts and crafts festival Gaspadarchy Syr in Slavgorod. Local cheese makers told the President about the revival of traditional handicrafts. For example, there are 15 local craftsmen in Slavgorod District whose products are known far beyond the region. The local festival in Slavgorod aims to preserve and promote the tradition of cheese making, crafts such as basket making, willow weaving, embroidery, pottery and to facilitate the development of peasant farms. The Belarusian President spoke to the participants of the festival about the revival of traditional handicrafts in the region and on the conservation of the historical and cultural heritage. Aleksandr Lukashenko said that young people must preserve and carry on the traditions of Belarusian arts and crafts.

The head of state also met with the residents of the town of Slavgorod and Slavgorod District. The President remarked that 26 April is the tragic day for the Belarusian people. "The Chernobyl accident occurred through no fault of ours. We did not build that plant. Neither did we operate it. But it happened so that it was us who had to build a new life in the affected areas after the Chernobyl accident,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined. He recalled the difficult period immediately after the Chernobyl disaster.

The President noted that about 15 years ago, he took a decision to rehabilitate the affected territories. Over the years, it became clear that it was the right decision. It is confirmed by the fact that the birthrate in Slavgorod District, which was hit by the Chernobyl disaster, is now higher than in the entire Mogilev Oblast. New families are created, children are born, which means life goes on.

The country pays great attention to the demographic situation. No matter how hard it was, the state supported and will continue to support large families, the head of state emphasized. "I thank you that 15 years ago you heard me, that you continue living in your native land, have children, work," he said.

"So we have done wisely having saved the land," the President said. He explained that the purpose of his visit to Mogilev Oblast, and Slavgorod District in particular, is to meet with people, talk to them, to see how they live, and learn about their concerns.

The meeting with local residents focused on the passing of Ordinance No. 3 aimed at the eradication of freeloading practices in Belarus. The President said that Ordinance No. 3 aims to make scroungers work. The head of state noted that certain people criticize the document. He said: “We will not hurt honest people and make scroungers work.”

“This is just the first step. We showed people that everyone must work. Everything should be fair. We will monitor the situation. We should deal with alcohol abusers, thieves, scroungers. It is a serious problem,” the President said.

The head of state remarked that he respects families with many children. But unfortunately, not all of them show positive examples. Certain irresponsible parents send their children to orphanages. It is not normal. It is clear that such irresponsible parents of many children should be compelled to work.

Local residents who are engaged in the household production of cheese asked the President whether they will be considered freeloaders. Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that working people will not be under pressure.

The President laid flowers at the monument in the Alley of Memory of Abandoned Villages. The head of state talked to the Chernobyl accident clean-up workers. He pointed out the need to support this category of people. Aleksandr Lukashenko drew particular attention to the need for further development of the Chernobyl-affected regions.