Posted: 23.10.2023 10:03:00

Eismont: President has always been and remains honest, and this is his most principled position

Openness to journalists and information agenda has always been a characteristic feature of the Belarusian President, long before this began to turn into a trend of many global leaders – as noted by the press secretary of the President of Belarus, Natalya Eismont, in her talk with the Belarus 1 TV channel on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the Independence Palace, which hosted the first event on October 24th, 2013

Speaking about which hall is most often asked for when requesting an interview with the Head of State, Ms. Eismont drew attention to an important aspect, “Very often we talk about the overwhelming interest [in the conversation with the President of Belarus] – and it is really so. In order not to repeat myself in different interviews, I would like to clarify this point a little. The number of requests is connected, firstly, with the fact that you and I, as well journalists in many countries, know perfectly well: our President is very open. Maybe now, in 2023, few people can be surprised by this: everyone has either already come to this, or is starting to come, we see unprecedented openness in the highest circles of power in different countries of the world – in relation to journalists and the information agenda. Meanwhile, our President has always been like that, I can assert this for sure since 2014, when I came to work at the Palace of Independence and the Presidential press service. However, we can remember that, even before that, there were dozens of interviews a year, in addition to large press conferences, and talks with the media. The President has always been and remains honest. I can tell you a story: we once received a very interesting request, and I went to the Head of State to report on it. There was an extremely clear and acute topic, and the President told me, “Please notify them that I will talk to them, but I will say everything as it is, and not what they want to hear. They should know about it.” This is the most fundamental position, and I think everyone knows that this is how any interview with our President is structured.”

As for requests, interiors and any organisational issues, a hall or a specific location is naturally seldom asked for, and Ms. Eismont added, “Journalists primarily have a desire to meet and talk with the President, so the location is actually secondary. It is our headache, because we are naturally responsible for everything that appears in the information space with the participation of our President. We are direct and very active participants in this process, although full-fledged film crews from different countries and from different media come to us. Cleary, we cannot satisfy all requests, and we really have a huge number of them. It is physically impossible to do this, and it is probably not necessary – no matter how much one may wish, or how open the President is. We choose the brightest [requests], try to saturate the agenda with a variety of interviews. The location is also connected with this. More than one interview has already been recorded in each hall of the Independence Palace. Naturally, we constantly try to change the ‘picture’, change the location, but a lot depends – and we take this into account when planning an interview – on its character and the personality of an interviewer. We take into account the latter’s wishes for the atmosphere and the topic of the interview.”