At the press-conference of the President Alexander Lukashenko to Mass-Media representatives of Russian regions, which was held in the National library, the head of the state answered 25 questions of Russian journalists. More than 70 Mass-Media from 44 Russian regions took part in the meeting
This was the sixth press-conference of Alexander Lukashenko with the representatives of Russian regional Mass-Media. Traditionally, the meeting with the President completed their press-tour over Belarus. This time 84 journalists came to Minsk, working for the audience of tens of millions people — more than ever. They represented almost a half of the subjects of the Russian Federation.
An idea of the press-tour over Belarus for journalists of no-central newspapers, TV-channels and radio stations of the neighboring state appeared in 2003. Two countries reached the highest level of integration on the post-Soviet space, they built the Union state. There was lack of objective information about modern Belarus in Russian regions. People recollect the BSSR, but they know little about the Republic of Belarus. The news about the country spread through Moscow and they were mostly political. They didn’t provide insight into the life of the country. Press-tours were to show this real life to Russian journalists, and consequently to their audience. Besides, the same tours were subsequently organized for the representatives of Ukrainian Mass-Media.
The representatives of regional Russian press spent four days in Belarus. This time they were hosted by Minsk region (there is a new master each year. Last year Russian journalists, for example, visited Mogilev area). The visiting program was very rich: “Snov” agricultural integrated plant; “Belaruskaly”; “Khatyn”, having the same symbolic meaning for our people; the Day of Belarusian writing in Borisov — being influenced by this festival, one guest even decided to ask a question to the President in the Belarusian language. Tired but satisfied, colleagues from Russian republics and regions told us approximately similar words, when we asked about their impressions about the trip.
The press-conference of Alexander Lukashenko as usual became the final accord of the press-tour. And, as usual, it sounded powerfully. During almost three hours the President answered different and often acute questions of Russian journalists, which sometimes don’t have a simple answer.
We asked our Russian colleagues about their impressions from communication with Alexander Lukashenko and on the whole from the trip to Belarus.
Elena KOZLOVA, the editor in chief of “Kredo” newspaper, Krasnoyarsk Territory:
— I agree with the President, that the Union Belarusian-Russian relations are based on economic relations and they have to be developed. A Belarusian delegation headed by the first vice-premier Vladimir Semashko has recently visited our city and it turned out that Krasnoyarsk Territory, rich in all kinds of natural resources, occupies just the 41st place in trade and economic relations of Belarus with Russian regions. This is extremely few, taking into account the fact that our population puts value upon buses, tractors, hosiery, furniture, imported from our neighboring country. The Belarusian trading house, recently opened in Krasnoyarsk, is a step forward, however, it is necessary to make more aggressive advertisement, to establish joint enterprises, to take another actions in order to buildup business relations. The more so, as creation of the Union state contributes to it: there is practically no boundary between our countries, customs payments are not charged while trading. I think, that the idea of Alexander Lukashenko, that Belarus shall independently make arrangements with the regions about supply of such a strategic raw material, as natural gas and oil, would have helped to increase the sales turnover.
Alexander TIKHONOV, the editor in chief of “Orlovskaya Pravda” newspaper:
— By the example of agricultural integrated plant “Snov’’ I was convinced of fruitfulness of agricultural towns creation. This is where state social policy is concentrated. This refers to accommodation, municipal sphere and domestic services — everything as in the town. Russian people have what to learn. While communicating with the President they managed to raise a question of closer cooperation of Belarus and Russia in the agrarian sphere. In many directions as cultivation of corn and colza, we have parallel courses, but we wish closer integration in creation and manufacture of high production agricultural equipment. Alexander Lukashenko and his assistants say that this year our region is going to receive almost 500 “Belarus” tractors. This is a great help. It would be good if supply of modern and reliable harvesters was carried out as properly.
Yuri SLUYANOV, the head of the private television and radio broadcasting company “Young Siberian culture”, Novosibirsk Region:
— When my colleagues spoke with Alexander Lukashenko, I heard a thought that politicians should be occupied with determination of the development ways of the Union state of Belarus and Russia. We need a kind of popular diplomacy, as in the mutual relations of Eastern regions of Belarus, Smolensk and Bryansk regions of Russia. Houses and communities of Belarusian-Russian friendship shall appear in other regions, in order not only public persons visited each other, but in order simple people were able to communicate more. An overwhelming part of population, especially older generation, stands for unity with Belarus. However, few people know how the Union state shall look like, where its potential advantages are. It is necessary to work hard at it.
Igor Slavinsky, Vladimir Yakovlev
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