Biography of the President of the Republic of Belarus
Aleksandr Lukashenko is the first President of the Republic of Belarus. He is more than a politician in the country. Aleksandr Lukashenko was at the origins of the formation and development of an independent Belarus.
He is a recognized authority for fellow presidents. The President takes a firm, sometimes tough but always pro-Belarusian position on the international arena. This is acknowledged by citizens of other countries who put the Belarusian leader at the top of approval rankings.
As a guarantor of sovereignty, President Lukashenko defends the independence and security of the country as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Chairman of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus. In these positions the Belarusian leader also takes an adamant and principled approach to promoting national interests.
Aleksandr Lukashenko was born on 30 August 1954 in the town of Kopys, Orsha District, Vitebsk Oblast. He spent his young years in the village of Alexandria in Mogilev Oblast. Since an early age he took care of his family. He helped his mother Yekaterina on the homestead and on the farm where she worked as a milkmaid. It was then when he developed his most important traits – diligence and responsibility.
The future president attended an ordinary rural school. He was diligent in his studies, active in public life. He took accordion classes and spent a lot of time doing sports.
After school he chose the profession of a historian. In 1975 he graduated from Kuleshov Mogilev State University. Ten years on, when already working, he received a diploma of an economist from Belarusian Agricultural Academy.
In 1975-1977 he served in the border troops as a political instructor in the Western Border District, deputy commander of a squadron (political officer) of a military unit of the Soviet Army. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, his time in the army was a very important experience for his future presidential career.
After that he held managerial positions in manufacturing and agricultural companies. He was involved in the Komsomol and Communist Party activities. His managerial and political experience of this period proved to be highly useful, too.
Aleksandr Lukashenko honed his managerial skills after he left the army (1977-1990). He worked as secretary of the Komsomol Committee of the Food Administration of Mogilev, instructor of the Oktyabrsky District administration of Mogilev, secretary of the Znanie public association of Shklov. He got hands-on experience in agriculture during his work as deputy head of the Udarnik collective farm of Shklov District, deputy director of a Shklov-based building materials company, and secretary of the party committee of the Lenin collective farm.
When Aleksandr Lukashenko was 33, he took charge of the struggling Gorodets collective farm of Shklov District. Aleksandr Lukashenko’s leadership and managerial skills, determination and ability to focus came in handy during this challenging period. The collective farm adopted advanced managerial solutions. Aleksandr Lukashenko’s subordinates also appreciated his personal qualities, like an urge for justice, attention to people and readiness to help them.
The political career of Aleksandr Lukashenko began in 1990 when he was elected to the Supreme Council of Belarus. From the very start he proved to be a proactive and uncompromising MP with a firm stance on major issues concerning Belarus’ development. He led the Supreme Council’s commission for commercial organizations set up at the state administration bodies, also known as the anti-corruption commission. His determination and honesty earned him broad public support.
The young president became the leader of the country amid the aggravating crisis with multiple pressing social and economic problems and a drastic decline of living standards. From the very first days in office he was doing his best to fulfill his election promises. He managed to mobilize people to conduct economic and political transformations and raise the efficiency of public administration.
Aleksandr Lukashenko initiated a referendum on 14 May 1995 during which the majority of Belarusians voted for the new national symbols, integration with Russia on an equal basis, and the equal status of the Belarusian and Russian languages. At the referendum held on 24 November 1996, people voted for the establishment of the bicameral National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus instead of the Supreme Council, and for the amendments to the 1994 Constitution.
In order to increase people’s involvement in decision-making, Aleksandr Lukashenko initiated the establishment of the All-Belarus People's Congress. The Head of State encouraged the development of the civil society as a system of public associations that can join efforts to express and defend national interests and promote national traditions.
Aleksandr Lukashenko’s main achievements include restoration of order in the challenging 1990s, especially the crackdown on organized crime, thanks to which the whole world knows Belarus as a peaceful and safe state. The necessary reforms were put in place to streamline public administration, improve education, healthcare, and pension systems. The country declared plans to build a welfare state. Work has been underway to improve living standards, provide comprehensive support to families, mothers and children, tidy up the land, create comfortable living and working conditions in all regions of the country, and strengthen Belarus’ defense capacity.
During his presidency, Aleksandr Lukashenko focused on sustainable development of agribusiness. Agro-towns with city-like infrastructure were set up all over Belarus. At present the country not only ensures its own food security, but also exports large amounts of food products.
Efforts of the President are also geared towards enhancing the manufacturing capacity of the state. The President managed to preserve Belarusian flagship enterprises known since the days of the Soviet Union and to develop new branches of the economy. Thanks to Aleksandr Lukashenko’s initiative and support a hi-tech park was set up in Belarus. Belarus is running ambitious projects to promote peaceful uses of nuclear technology and space research. Belarus announced plans to become an IT country.
Matters of security are constantly in the center of attention of the Head of State. They include the improvement of the law enforcement system and the border infrastructure, the modernization of the Belarusian army to meet present-day challenges and emerging threats, the development of capabilities of the domestic defense industry.
The Belarusian leader is a strong advocate of a healthy lifestyle and personally oversees the development of elite sports and efforts to encourage citizens to go in for sports.
The Head of State advocates a multipolar world order and is intent on advancing equal and mutually beneficial relations not only with neighboring countries but also with all the countries without an exception.
Since the start of the presidency, a strategy to build allied relations with Russia has been adopted. Since January 2000, Aleksandr Lukashenko has been Chairman of the Supreme State Council of the Belarus-Russia Union State.
The development of cooperation with the People's Republic of China is under the personal patronage of the Belarusian leader. The countries have established a trust-based comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The President is an ardent supporter of broader integration. Under the leadership of Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has become known for its principled position within the UN and OSCE on the most pressing issues of the international agenda. Belarus is an initiator of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The country makes a considerable contribution to the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Central European Initiative, the Eastern Partnership and other integration formats.
Aleksandr Lukashenko has consistently pushed for resolving all international problems exclusively at the negotiating table. Thanks to this peacekeeping position, Belarus has become the main platform for settling the conflict in Ukraine.
Aleksandr Lukashenko has laid a solid foundation for building a sovereign and independent state, ensured successful social and economic development of Belarus, and made the country a recognizable and authoritative player on the international arena.