Famous people speak about President
China President Xi Jinping:
Belarus is known for political stability, progressive economic development and social stability. We see people’s living standards improve and the country's international positions strengthen. Under the leadership of President Lukashenko, the hard-working and wise people of Belarus are making advances in the great cause of nation-building. Being a sincere friend of the Belarusian people, I am happy for your achievements.
Russia President Vladimir Putin:
During your time as the Head of State, you have earned a lot of respect from compatriots and have built a great reputation abroad as a responsible and visionary leader who does a lot to promote the social and economic growth of Belarus and protect its foreign policy interests.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II (1990-2008):
I remember well my conversations with Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko. A man of character, a strong-willed and independent person, able to critically assess his actions. The agreement between the Church and the State in Belarus initiated by Aleksandr Lukashenko was a good example for all the CIS countries.
Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev:
When the Soviet Union collapsed, not all countries retained their intellectual and economic strength. Aleksandr Lukashenko... Why do people love him? Because he has retained the intellectual and economic capacities of that great country. Successes are visible every year. Being prime minister, I visited Belarus and saw that ordinary people have a warm regard for the President because the President talks to them, listens to them. Not by means of paperwork or government officials. He really knows the problems, aspirations and concerns of regular people.
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev:
Our guest is one of the most experienced politicians in the CIS. He is highly respected by the leaders of many countries, including Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan First President Nursultan Nazarbayev:
We have survived tough times. It was not easy for you. The situation was difficult. All these 25 years we have been learning from each other, watching, observing, tackling all sorts of difficulties. It is not an easy time now either. The world is changing, everything is changing around us. In this situation, it is very important to preserve what has been achieved. I am not young. Neither are you. It is too late to change your preferences in friendship. I have a lot of respect for you for what you have done in Belarus over the years in difficult conditions and for your human qualities. I remain your trusted old friend and am always ready to come over or meet here in Kazakhstan.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
We hope that Lukashenko's tolerance policy, which allows for the differences, will set an example for the whole world.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky:
I would like to pay my respects to your tremendous achievements in the development and strengthening of international standing and stable development of the Republic of Belarus which is friendly to our people.
Serbia President Aleksandar Vucic:
It is a great honor for me to host Aleksandr Lukashenko, a great friend of Serbia and the only world leader who flew to Serbia in 1999, to Belgrade to support our country when it was attacked by 19 NATO countries. There is usually nothing shorter than gratitude in politics. But we are an example that this is not always the case. President Lukashenko, we are still grateful to you today. Serbian people will be grateful forever for your support to Serbia during one of the most difficult historical moments for our country. Serbia and Belarus are truly friendly countries. Our peoples are brotherly nations.
Austria Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz:
I want to thank you [Aleksandr Lukashenko] for the role you play in restoring peace in the region. We discussed the Ukrainian conflict and the Minsk agreements that were reached here. Your efforts to facilitate the work of the contact group make a significant contribution to promoting stability in the region.
Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon:
Under your wise leadership the Republic of Belarus is confidently moving forward along the trajectory of sustainable social and economic development. It is actively involved in addressing important international and regional issues, which helps advance its standing on the international arena. It is gratifying that the great achievements of the Republic of Belarus on this path are inextricably linked with your fruitful work in the high office of the president of the country.
Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov:
I respect President Lukashenko. Not only I. He is respected in our republic, in the Caucasus, in Russia. Everywhere, because he is definitely the statesman who knows what his people want and does everything to achieve it. Everyone sees it.
Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma (1994-2005):
The role and place of Minsk as a venue for the talks of the trilateral contact group is of great significance. You probably know that there have been a lot of talks about relocating the meetings to some other venue. This is absolute nonsense. Minsk has been chosen as the only place where a normal dialogue is possible. Keeping in mind the attitude of the Belarusian authorities to the matter, it becomes twice as important. I am always happy to visit your beautiful country, to meet with the President, whom I respect mightily.
OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger:
I have met with the Belarusian President several times. I am grateful that the President shares the OSCE approaches. Thanks to him, Belarus has managed to become a so-called bridge builder between West and East. It is particularly important at a time when multilateralism and a common approach to addressing issues are under pressure in the world. The Belarusian leader promotes the idea of a multi-polar world, which I appreciate very much. In such conditions everything is in place for efficient cooperation between the OSCE and Belarus. Minsk regularly hosts major conferences and events.
Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili (2013-2018):
I envy the rapid development of your manufacturing sector starting with agriculture and ending with high technology. The fact that Belarus has not wasted but has preserved and multiplied the economic power that once existed owes a lot to your leadership and your role. This generated great benefits and opportunities for Belarusian families and the country in general.
Moldova President Igor Dodon:
We see you as a friend of Moldova and the people of Moldova, because regardless of what is going on in the region and the world, Belarus has always been a reliable economic and political partner for the Republic of Moldova.
Chairman of the political council of the Opposition Platform - For Life political party Viktor Medvedchuk:
He has always been advocating peace. I am saying it because during my meetings with Aleksandr Lukashenko in 2019 we discussed peace 90% of the time. He did not only offer his services, he assured that he is ready to be a middleman, he is willing to do everything to achieve peace. And he is doing it!
Famous Russian scientist, Nobel Prize winner Zhores Alferov:
The Belarusian authorities are well aware that the country is not rich in raw materials and its economy can rely solely on the industrial base built in the Soviet times, i.e. companies specializing in mechanical engineering, instrument-making, optics, electronics, and computer science. We should be grateful to Aleksandr Lukashenko that this base has been preserved and expanded. He did not allow the sale of industrial assets, and today Belarus boasts a high scientific and engineering potential. Although things are much harder for them than for us. It was not easy to keep this potential, but today it largely underpins the country's economy.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Belarus Alexander Surikov (2006-2018):
Belarus should be grateful to President Lukashenko. It was thanks to his efforts that the country rose out of the havoc of the 1990s to reach the level it has today.
Professor, Russian politician, public figure Sergei Baburin:
Lukashenko’s visit under the protection of fighter jets, when NATO troops were concentrated around Yugoslavia and it was impossible to guarantee that there would be no provocations or accidental missile shots, demonstrated that the Belarusian President was a peacemaker. He is not one of those politicians who prefer ‘to sit out’, but the one who is ready to defend a peaceful solution, a political solution with concrete actions. I mean he is an active peacemaker. This is exactly what is valued more than anything else in Europe in the 21st century.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) Bojan Brkic:
He was the only head of state in the world who came over here during the bombings to demonstrate his solidarity with us... No one else came, neither our allies, nor anyone from the Russian Federation, China, any other brotherly country. Of course, he could stay at home, send a telegram with the words of support or make a speech on television and so on. No, he just got on a plane and flew to Belgrade. It was courageous of him to interfere in such a manner with the operation of the world’s strongest military alliance.
Serbian actress, film director, public figure Ivana Zigon:
For me the most interesting thing about your President was the tear of compassion for the whole planet, for every child. I saw him [during Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to Belgrade in 1999] on TV and thought: “How is it possible for the President to cry over an injured child during a visit to a foreign country?” He was the only person in the world to stand up, risking his life. He is a straightforward person who has never given up on the values such as dignity, freedom, and peace. Your country is the embodiment of peace. It is in your streets, in the peacefulness of your people. Maybe you do not see it, because it is a usual thing for you.
German political scientist Alexander Rahr:
In 2007, Lukashenko was one of those who told Germany: the main problem you are facing is migration. I thought I misheard something. He insisted in saying: there will be mass migration to Europe, and you need us, your neighbors, including Belarus. I conveyed these words to the Chancellor's Office. They laughed at them, did nothing.
First Deputy Director General of the Russian News Agency TASS Mikhail Gusman:
Belarus experienced the war, the whole tragedy of the war in the hardest way possible, like no other country. Minsk was awarded the hero city title for a reason. Although several post-war generations have changed, this historical memory lives in the hearts of people. I think that Aleksandr Lukashenko has also absorbed this historical memory. In my opinion, this is what shapes his political views and culture. Because, strictly speaking, he is a child of the wartime generation of Belarusians. This is why peace is not just a word for him, but a feeling in the heart and soul, the memory of his friends, neighbors, elderly relatives. This is what, let me say it again, defines his view of life.
Ukrainian political expert, historian Konstantin Bondarenko:
Safe Belarus, safe Minsk, global security, regional security – this topic permeates speeches and rhetoric of the Belarusian President. People have started hailing Aleksandr Lukashenko as a factor of European stability. The starting point was his article in the Izvestiya newspaper in October 2012. It was then when he suggested the integration of integrations concept: let us go two different ways – in the end, we will unite anyway. He suggested Belarus as a bridge. Belarus has become a mediator in many interactions between Europe and China. Europeans have even started calling Belarus a kind of a Chinese hub. All this has started to create a new image of Aleksandr Lukashenko. People have begun treating him as a possible mediator in settling not only regional conflicts, but also conflicts in relations between the European Union and Russia.”
Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica:
You are governing the country in a way that benefits the people, the country. You want to preserve independence. I know that today it comes at a very high price.
Ukrainian writer, historian, journalist, TV host Oles Buzina:
Aleksandr Lukashenko is taking care of his country, he loves Belarus. If you come to Belarus, you will be surprised by the quality of roads, the order, the quality of products. You will be surprised to see healthy Belarusian villages. Aleksandr Lukashenko is doing everything for their development. There are no black soils, coal, metals in Belarus, unlike in Ukraine, but Belarusians fare well, because they have preserved and developed the Soviet industry, especially mechanical engineering. Belarusians know how to live within their means, they do not entertain illusions. They understand that the most important thing is their Belarus. The country’s social and economic model determines the life of a regular Belarusian.
Professor at Radford University (USA), author of the book “Reassessing Lukashenka: Belarus in Cultural and Geopolitical Context” Grigory Ioffe:
I believe that he has charisma and certain magnetism... I could see that this person possesses great inner energy as well as high confidence in the rightness of his approaches. The fact that he has made a name for himself in spite of his background is evident. Of course, the history will clear up everything and will give its assessment. However, I think that regardless of any assessment on the range ‘good – bad’, he will always be viewed as the first President of Belarus and an incredibly prominent figure.
Chairman of the Board of the Kazakh media outlet Khabar Agency Yerlan Bekkhozhin:
Aleksandr Lukashenko is a very interesting interlocutor. He charms you with his sincerity. It is uncommon for a politician in general, but it is his innate trait. And he knows how to use it effectively. I believe that even if his opponents start arguing with him, he eventually wins them over. This is how sincere and convincing he can be.
Russian artist Nikas Safronov:
Perhaps, Belarus would have already ceased to exist. Perhaps, it would have become part of Poland, part of Lithuania, part of that half of Europe that would tell it what crops to grow and what factories to keep. I have always respected Aleksandr Lukashenko. For me he is Kennedy and Fidel Castro rolled into one. He is a friendly personality. Sometimes he is in a combative spirit, but he is a man of peace. He is a very sincere and kind person. He wants things to be sorted out. You know, he wants everything to be in order.
Tatyana Karpechenko, school teacher of Aleksandr Lukashenko:
He always studied well, took part in all our school events and often joined our hiking tours. Back then, we often helped peasants with harvesting and he did that, too. You know, he was an ordinary village boy. He joined my class in his fifth year at school. He played harmless tricks sometimes, like everyone did. But look where he is now. Well done! We made some contribution to that, too.
French actor Gerard Depardieu:
You will not hold such talks [on the settlement of the situation in eastern Ukraine] in a place where people are craving for power, will you? And Aleksandr Lukashenko is not craving for power as such. He wants the whole country to be like a big family. I would say, he is craving for common sense. I do not understand anything in politics, but still I can see that your President is an ace in global politics, and he has to deal with certain pressure from virtually all sides.
Pavel Bure, Russian ice hockey player, Honored Master of Sport of the USSR:
I visited Minsk on his invitation. Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested that we should try skiing one morning and compete on a 10km distance. I used to play in the NHL back then, I was in a good shape, I did not doubt that I would win. I was skiing in an old fashion, on classic skis, and gave up after four kilometers. My arms were numb. And Lukashenko skied in free style and made it to the finish line easily. It was good that we did not make a bet before the start.
Anton Kushnir, Belarusian aerial skier, Olympic champion:
We did not give up. We fought for the country and for our interests. This is what we should always do. Of course, I am grateful to Aleksandr Lukashenko who spoke up for the country with dignity, supported our team and me [amid the judging scandal at the 2018 Olympic Games]. It was a manly act. I respect the President very much. Over his many years of presidency he has proved many times that he deserves to be the country’s leader. This is great.
Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player, Olympic champion:
Aleksandr Lukashenko is a wonderful person. I do not know any other president who would pay so much attention to children and sport.