The future depends solely on us
Who would say nowadays that this is the most Chernobyl-affected district? People have done much to return the feeling of confident future, being greatly assisted by the state. Life is gathering big pace here.
By Dmitry Krymov
This was evident during the working programme of the Belarusian President in the Khoiniki District. The first point was Sudkovo farm, which boasted a good and smooth field. Machine operators sowed using new and strong machinery. Moreover, reports were made on the sowing campaign in the country, in the region and in the district. There’s no difference in peculiarities of the sowing campaign and we have a normal working background. The next stop was a strong and contemporary dairy farm at the Strelichevo experimental base. The visit here was also without any regional peculiarities.
Meanwhile, the Polesie production section at Molochnye Produkty JSC is special in good sense of this word. This is one of the sections of Belarus’ first classical meat and dairy holding. The enterpriser with contemporary production facilities manufactures goods — popular both inside the country and abroad. Efficient management helps with both advice and money for the suppliers of raw materials — agricultural enterprises. Employees are also pleased. When the conversation tackled the creation of such structures in each region and their uniting into one national meat and dairy company, the President isn’t against. If there’s a tangible result, why not?
The working content of the presidential visit doesn’t differ from his trip to any another region and this is the confirmation that the task which was put 10-15 years ago had been fulfilled. At that time, the issue was first raised to liquidate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident and to return the Chernobyl-suffered regions to normal and fully-fledged life. This has mostly been brought to life; at least, there were no complaints for hard life in the questions of local residents addressed to the President.
Of course, there’re issues which concern people, but these are working issues which are common for any area: housing, gasification, reclamation and taking care of fields. Meanwhile, the most remarkable is that local citizens thanked the President for the state’s big assistance in the creation of powerful social infrastructure in the district. Everything is present here for comfortable living yet people lament that there’re not enough productions. The district should be more actively engaged in the economy, since the state won’t always ‘bear’ all social issues. It’s necessary to create conditions for its maintenance at the worthy level and development.
Polesie residents have again astonished. The power state support of the rehabilitation programme of their district didn’t relax them and didn’t generate a welfare mentality. Vice versa, they decided with their natural common sense that they should earn themselves for all this beauty which exists. Meanwhile, these people can give a head start to many in the ability to work hard and the President proposed them to discuss themselves which enterprises they need most. The most important is orientation for local raw materials while the state will obligatory lend its shoulder. The new railway from Mozyr to Glushkovichi (through Polesie) will become good support and the issue of its construction has been almost solved. Probably, the most worthy state project is aspiration to work and to build comfortable life with one’s own hands.
When communicating with the residents of Khoiniki the Head of State stresses again that the decision adopted many years ago to develop these lands was correct.
He also underlined that the state didn’t forget about the residents of the Gomel Region and plans to further develop this region. “This is our land and we won’t ever leave it. These districts and lands are in the zone of my special attention,” stressed the Belarusian leader.
Khoiniki residents also raised a problem of housing for young specialists, as well as gasification of small villages, reclamation and prevention of flooding during floods.
Communication took place in warm atmosphere and the residents of the district thanked the President for constant attention forwards the issues of rehabilitation of the Chernobyl-affected lands, the development of social sphere and the creation of favourable conditions for live and work.
After communication people saw off the President with applause. However, before leaving Khoiniki, Mr. Lukashenko answered the journalists’ questions.
Dialogue with EU
I can say unambiguously that Europeans and our people from the fifth column, and probably this is not the ‘fifth column already, and oppositionists have already firmly understood that the regime of sanctions and ultimatums turned out to be counterproductive and even harmful for the European Union itself. This opinion already dominates among Europeans and I know this for sure. Now the question arises how to find the way out from of this deadlock where we found ourselves through no fault of our. So, they begin to talk about political prisoners.
I’ve already said and will say this again: we don’t judge anyone for policy. We have no political articles, we have only criminal articles. I’ve already said how to find the way out from this situation: those who wanted to be free are now free, and those who want to be in prison and be considered ‘heroes’ let it be so. However, this is only one problem in our relations with EU and not the major one. The issue lies in the policy pursued by us. No one wants Belarus to be independent and self-sufficient, but this is already an accomplished fact and we want move away from this line. We’ll be a free and independent state.
Some dislike our political structure: strict power and strong ‘vertical of power’ which is difficult to swing. However, they want that branches wave in various sides and that the country is divided and this division happens regardless of Lukashenko. Probably, once we’ll become ready for some new political structures but now we believe that the current state of things is beneficial for our country… Who needs a rival in the centre of Europe? They want to have in our country the same situation as in Greece or somewhere else, where everyone bends down and lowers their wings…
We’ve directly told the Europeans that our policy is absolutely transparent and we don’t want to quarrel with Europeans. We are a part of Europe; moreover, we’re its geographic centre. We’d like to be in normal relations with European states. We’re as civilised people as they are, and maybe even better somewhere. If you want we’ll talk, it not — we’ll wait.
Military co-operation with Russia
Even those people who say that we are surrendering sovereignty do not believe it. You know my position, and I’m not that kind of President who would give something away to someone else, not to mention the most sacred thing — the sovereignty. To ensure sovereignty and independence of my Belarus, which has voted for me, is my immediate constitutional duty.
Those who fight today against Lukashenko would say anything to hurt him. In this case, they say that Lukashenko surrenders sovereignty and independence. They themselves do not believe it, so I do not even bother about this issue. As far as our agreements on the supply of several battalions of S-300 air defence missile systems to Belarus from Russia are concerned, similar systems are already in service in Belarus. The Belarusian air defence is the strongest in the West direction. It’s not only Belarusian; it also protects Russia, as we have a single group of troops.
It means that we are now expanding our air defence with those means which are in the inventory. This is an old topic and I’m very pleased that the Russians have finally made a step forward. These systems are aimed against no one; they will be used solely for defence purposes.
As for the fighter jets, we are currently considering this issue: they will be deployed either at the operating Belarusian military units or a new fighter jet regiment will be created. Today, we need two dozens of modern jets while we currently buy only Soviet, now Russian Su-27 and MiG-29. Meanwhile, to secure the inviolability of the borders we need more of these aircraft or more advanced jets.
This is what the protection of sovereignty and independence means. Those who lament about the loss of the sovereignty would have nothing against if I invited NATO bases here…
Volat as a mascot name for 2014 IIHF World Championship
I like the name very much. Volat means ‘a strong man’ and is a good Belarusian name. It sounds good and this is reputable for Belarus.