Belarus President makes personnel decisions

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Belarus President appointed new government members on 4 June.

According to the head of state, he has warned about the forthcoming government reshuffle in advance, there is no emergency. “I want to reiterate: even those who will not be included in the new government today will not be left without work, they are not enemies,” the president stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the latest government reshuffle took place about a year ago. “This is a natural process. Yes, we will have election soon, and this process must be completed. We will have to determine an almost final composition of the government. Why almost? Because after the election – this is an exam. We will see who will pass this exam and how,” the head of state explained. “These posts are not given to anybody, including myself, once and for all. I am elected by people, you are appointed by the president. Everything is done in accordance with the Constitution.”

The president remarked that there were many discussions around the government reshuffle. “Some of them say that they will leave 80% of the current Lukashenko’s government when they come to power. I doubt that. What politician are they? If they leave 80% of the old government, why change anything at all? What innovations and reforms will they have?” the head of state wondered.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, Aleksandr Lukashenko deemed it necessary to start working as soon as possible. “I want you, especially the newly appointed members, to be in a working mode as soon as possible. I believe that the others are already bright-eyed and busy-tailed,” he said.

“I am not going to break anything. It is not the right time for it. It is not even the right time to build anything. Today we need to save what has been already built,” the president said. “I will tell you and our people openly and honestly: we are not going to throw money from a helicopter.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, in the current complicated situation even such countries as the USA and Russia do not throw away handfuls of money. “Only our discipline, perseverance, and commitment of the entire nation can help us overcome challenges,” the president concluded.

The head of state explained why it had been necessary to gather for the conference all the new candidates and the executives, who would continue working in their previous jobs. “You all know the state of affairs evolving in the world and hence in our country. A large number of new challenges concentrated within a short period of time require the utmost mobilization of efforts of all the government agencies and primarily the central government,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “It is an utmost trial of our resilience and the preservation of the state. We have to survive it. And we will survive it, we’ve done it before, and we will win.”

The previous Council of Ministers worked for three years under the leadership of Sergei Rumas. “They managed to keep most of the economic indicators balanced in the period. Together with the central bank they secured stability on the financial market. Earnings of the population increased. A number of significant investment and infrastructure projects were implemented,” the president stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that preventing economic downturn and falling living standards would not suffice. “We have to know how to not only work in complicated and unpredictable conditions but also see ways of advancement where others fail to see them. Since it is a matter of our survival, all of us should see the light and see these ways,” the president noted. “We should grab every chance, explore every opening for advancement. To accomplish that, we should evaluate the work that has been done without embellishing it: what has been achieved and what has not been. We have to give an honest answer to the question ’Why?’, we have to make conclusions and determine the entire spectrum of the tasks we face – tasks of immediate priority, medium-term tasks, and strategic tasks. The new composition of the government should focus on resolving the tasks in the spheres that are close to the people: housing and utilities, civil engineering, agriculture.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko continued: “We should most seriously take care of regional policy matters in order to pull areas that lag behind in terms of living standards closer to major cities. Something like what we’ve started doing in Vitebsk Oblast. It is a job not only for municipal authorities to do. The central government will have to systemically resolve the problem. Remember that all the suggested solutions should be evaluated from the point of view of their influence on needs and demands of the people – decent jobs, growing revenues, affordable prices for goods and services.”

The necessary decisions have already been made on many issues. The new officials should immediately get down to implementing them in addition to formulating their own proposals. “I strongly hope that the government’s action program will cover ways to accomplish all the tasks the country faces and will be presented before the parliament within the timeframe specified by the Constitution,” Aleksandr Lukashenko summarized.