18 January 2018, Thursday, 12:59

Dictator: We have a couple of political prisoners


The Belarusian dictator gave a press conference for the Russian regional media.

About the “union state”

“Building the union state is an absolutely right and forward-looking step,” Lukashenka said.

As noted by the head of state, “It is the only process in the post-Soviet area in which achieved the depth we don't see in other cooperation projects, including the Common Economic Space and attempts to build the Eurasian Economic Union.”  “The relations in the Belarusian-Russian union are considerably deeper. It is a really unique integration institution, which will allow us, if the elites of the countries want it, to facilitate the formation of a powerful union of states,” Lukashenka said.

According to him, Belarus and Russia have went through a “difficult stage” in the last decade. “We had everything: from hot debates and conflicts to brotherly help in difficult moments. The main thing is that  we have convinced that we, Belarus and Russia, cannot live without each other in this turbulent ever-changing world,” the Belarusian dictator noted.

“Two or three political prisoners”

“As for politics, I don't think about it much. There are issues that we need to set in order, as the West and some people in Russia demand. For example, our political system of society doesn't differ from the Russian one. We perhaps have a tougher policy, but we base on the principles of honesty and justice. Yes means yes, no means no, otherwise goodbye.

I know well what the party system is and what the majority system is. Is it normal  when people know only Zyuganiv and his deputies and don't know the rest party members?

We have 15 parties, but people know only the left-wing communist party and the radical right BPF party. They don't know the rest 13 parties. The party system should form itself. I will support the process of party system establishing. I will not help, but will not hinder. As for the party of power, you know how people regard this phenomenon.

We have two or three political prisoners, who attacked the House of Government. It's good that our television shows Spain and Portugal. I think human rights are the right to life, right to work and decent wages,” the ruler said.

“We paid high price for Customs Union”

Journalists asked Lukashenka how Russia's WTO accession would affect the relations between the countries.

“I am a patriarch in politics. I've seen much. Ukraine surrendered and was accepted. If they don't accept us in the WTO, let's create our own WTO. Let's show how work should be done. We have the same language. Some post-Soviet countries already began to forget the Russian language. You cannot hear it in 'small shops or brothels' any more.

We carefully analyze information from our Russia.  We had the global crisis in Belarus, when new import duties on cars were imposed. Belarusians took 3 million dollars out of the country. Prices on natural gas were increased. Our financial system broke down.

We paid a high price for the Customs Union,” Lukashenka said.

Attacks on Poland

Lukashenka says he doesn't want to “quarrel with the EU”.

“We don't want to quarrel with the European Union. We want to be friends as it was before,” Lukashenka said.

He would like to have Russia as an “absolutely reliable partner” in the east. “Not just a partner, it would be a bit wrong, though it is the thesis of your leaders. We are not just partners. We are the family and we should live as family members and close countries,”  the Belarusian ruler stressed.

According to him, Belarus “maintains relations with all former Soviet republics” and does not create problems for its neighbours. “However, not all of them are happy with us, especially Poland and some other states, whose fingers itch. But I think we can cope with it,” Lukashenka said.

“We are not addicted to globalism. We define our foreign policy as a multivector policy,” the ruler added.

Oil refineries for sale

Lukashenka finds it possible to sell Belarusian oil refineries to Russia on conditions of allowing Belarus to extract Russian natural gas and oil.

“You want our oil refineries, which are like toys – modern good-looking European enterprises. If I agree on the sale, I'll meet hard times in Belarus. I will be blamed for selling out plants and so on. There's a good variant: we give oil refineries to you to process your oil, but we will process ours. You should give us the opportunity to extract natural gas in Russia as foreigners,” Lukashenka said.

“We consume 22 billion cubic metres per year. Give us the opportunity to produce 10 billion cubic metres.  It might be cheaper for us. Your expensive gas and our cheap gas that we will produce on the gas fields you will give us, just like you do it for the British and Americans, on the same terms” the Belarusian ruler said.

Belarus hasn't recovered from last year's crisis

Alyaksanr Lukashenka says Belarus has not recovered yet from last year's currency and economic crisis and faced a new wave of crisis.

“We've faced a new wave of crisis, but we haven't recovered from last year's events,” Lukashenka said.

“We had the global crisis of the Belarusian financial and economic system when import duties on cars were imposed last year. Belarusians took 3 billion dollars out of the country. We had to devalue the national currency and let it float. Besides, energy prices were increased,” Lukashenka noted. According to him, “Our financial system just broke down.”

Angry message to football players

Lukashenka commented on the performance of the Belarus national football team.

“It was a problem that people could have chosen not to attend the match when the Spaniards were to arrive,” Lukashenka said. “I then thought, well, let's use the administrative resource and gather people. What did we see? I haven't seen such a disgrace to the nation that our football players showed. They crapped their pants and appeared on the field with their arms and legs trembling... I gathered people – 40 thousand spectators. Send my greetings to them. Tell them that it was I who gathered people for them. We are not going to gather people for the game against Georgia.”

Kremlin Cup in Belarus

Lukashenka asks to allow him to carry out the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament.

“I watched the Kremlin Cup. A couple of people were in the stands. As a sportsman I know what one feels playing in front of empty stands,” Lukashenka said.

“The management and sportsmen are good, but stands are empty. It's a shame. Give the Kremlin Cup to us. Let it be the Kremlin Cup of Belarus,” the ruler summed up.

“Members of parliament should go through jail”

Lukashenka praised the director of the Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) and offered to “pass members of parliament through jail for better work”.

“We have MAZ director (Alyaksandr Barouski). He is a man of a difficult fate. He was in prison and then came to the plant. It just so happened,” the dictator said.

“He came to the plant and said he would do it. He was recently given an award. If the crisis hadn't happened, he would have become the Hero of Belarus. He is over 60, but young people are no match for him,” Lukashenka praised the director.

About Pussy Riot and Femen

Lukashenka comments on the situation with the Pussy Riot band and said not to “make heroes out of crap”.

“A reaction should not create problems out of nothing. Secondly, don't make heroes out of crap,” Lukashenka said.

“What concerns that band, you should have asked our advice, because we have great experience in dealing with such political groups,” the ruler said.

Lukashenka thinks the Russian media had “negative influence”, but he notes that the Internet doesn't allow to hide anything. “All of us have to change and adapt, especially the Church,” the ruler said.

Lukashenka also mentioned the performance carried out by the Ukrainian group Femen in Minsk in front of the KGB building.

“Some naked women from Ukraine came to us and portrayed me. But I don't have the breast they have,” the ruler said.

He noted such performances were held as provocations. It's wrong that the authorities react to them and begin to imprison them, he thinks.

“One cannot think badly of Stalin”

Alyaksandr Lukashenka calls not do demonize Lenin and Stalin and says he is far from them.

“I am far behind Mr Lenin and Mr Stalin. They had great aims,” Lukashenka said.

“Of course, my attitude to Lenin and Stalin differs from that in the Russian society. They should not be treated like that. They were our leaders. Lenin created the state. Stalin made it stronger,” Lukashenka remarked.

“How will I be assessed in fifty years? If people begin to support the tendency of the West, I will appear to be worse than Stalin strolling the streets, catching and eating people, especially women. They will demonize me in the way they do it with Stalin and Lenin,” Lukashenka said ironically.

“What sanctions? For what?”

Lukashenka is convinced the extension of the EU sanctions was caused by EU's dissatisfaction with his policy.

“A decision to extend sanctions against Belarus was taken yesterday. For what? What sanctions? I understand that they don't like Lukashenka. Well, say it straight,” Lukashenka said.

He also said the OSCE report on the outcome of the “parliamentary elections” in Belarus had been prepared beforehand and then released without any changes.

“I know the the OSCE report on Belarus was made beforehand. They prepared it beforehand and then released it,” the dictator said.

He noted the European Union used double standards in relation to Belarus and Russia.

“I asked them about their policy to Russia amid those events in Georgia. No changes, they answered. But compare a Belarusian and a Russian. No difference between them! But they have different approaches to us,” Lukashenka said.

The press conference was held in the National Library as part of the tenth press tour for the Russian regional media to Belarus. The press tour gathered 90 representatives of 80 media outlets from 48 subjects of Russia's all federal districts.