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Solving definitely important issues on nationwide scale

Grain harvesting, rural tourism modernisation and development underlined by President of Belarus during his trip to the Vitebsk Region
Alexander Lukashenko has requested that specialisation of each farm be defined in each district of the Vitebsk Region. During a regular working trip to the northern region of Belarus he noted the necessity of taking into account each region’s characteristics, forming crop rotation schemes to maximumise profit.

Grain harvesting at a Vitebsk Region farmstead

“The harvesting campaign is not the main goal of my trip,” explained the President, arriving at agricultural production co-operative Mayak Braslavsky. “We need to adjust technologies to new crop rotation schemes here, in the northwest of the country”.

He admitted that it is difficult to work in the same way as, for example, in the Brest Region. The Head of State was informed about progress in the harvesting campaign and forage conservation in Belarus, the social and economic development of theVitebsk Region and the Braslav District in particular.

Mr. Lukashenko went to Braslav’s affiliated company of Glubokoe Dairy Canning Factory, viewing the technological process of making hard cheese and the company’s products. The technology is unique because the process of production is closed and fully automated. High quality products are mostly made for export, thanks to strict control across the entire production chain, from milk acceptance to cheese ripening.

Alexander Lukashenko has demanded that farms ramp up meat and dairy production in the Vitebsk Region. The President heard about the efficient use of the country’s tourism potential, seeing an example of tourism development in the Braslav District by touring the Green Club private resort. Mr. Lukashenko said that tourism, including rural tourism, should be vigorously developing and is keen to see all people gain access to nationwide natural wealth.

The President then answered journalists’ questions, including on the harvesting campaign and the influence of the weather. The Head of State stressed that we must adapt to natural conditions and make the most of them, especially in the Vitebsk Region.

“This territory is not well suited to grain crops or corn. It is almost impossible to cultivate them in some places. Therefore, we need to adapt to the climate. The governor and his team face the challenge of finding ways to adapt to nature, making agriculture work in the most efficient way here,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked.

He added that rural tourism should rely on the same principle. “There are a lot of idle land plots of 1.5-3 hectares in the Braslav District. We need to give them to people so that they can use them to develop ecotourism”.

Another issue on the agenda was the recent incident at the construction site of the Belarusian nuclear power plant. “Some reporters have gone too far with their writing. Mainly Russian mass media have been the worst in covering this accident, stating that a reactor had been ‘dropped’ at the construction site of the nuclear power plant in Belarus. Wake up: there is no reactor there yet. It was a metal shell, a barrel if you want, with walls as thick as 20cm, where the reactor will be placed,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“I was told the morning after the accident happened. Construction workers were moving it at the warehouse, trying to lift it. It was lifted as high as I am tall, maybe slightly more; the straps failed and one side of the barrel touched the ground, from which it was then lifted.”

The President remarked that he had seen footage of the accident and had given instructions to sort it out right away. “If the reactor vessel has suffered the slightest damage, we’ll reject it. The Russians say that if we reject this one, they’ll bring another and install it. That’s the end of the story,” the Head of State noted.

Mr. Lukashenko underlined that, as a country that survived the Chernobyl catastrophe, Belarus is primarily interested in having a safe nuclear power plant.

According to the President, Russia is also interested in the safety of the plant. “It is building a bunch of nuclear power plants all over the world. Plans have been made to build some in Turkey and Egypt. Construction is in progress in Iran and China. If something bad happens, Russia will lose customers; it will lose a huge multi-billion piece of its economy.”

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the fact that Belarus and Lithuania should work together to make the BelNPP a joint endeavour, so that both states benefit. “We are ready for this, and I have sent such proposals to the Lithuanian authorities.”

Journalists also asked what the Head of State expects from the election campaign and how he evaluates Parliament’s work.

According to the President, Belarusian deputies are working successfully and are dealing with legislation. “Look at what is going on around us, in other countries. There are fights in Parliament, or politisation, or some groups have been created by oligarchs, or deputies have entered Parliament by paying money. There is nothing like that in Belarus. I’m saying this with all sincerity. No rich people will be able to cram their people into Parliament in exchange for money. It has not happened and is not likely to happen. It is the greatest merit and accomplishment of our parliamentarism and of our Parliament.”

Alexander Lukashenko also noted, “The election campaign in Belarus is proceeding calmly. Candidates have been nominated and are being registered now. The fact that more than six people intend to fight for one parliamentary seat is a good indicator. I’m very glad to hear it as it means that competition will be obvious.”

By Vasily Kharitonov
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