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Lukashenko predicts stronger media confrontation

MINSK (BelTA) – Media confrontation will become more intense, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he appointed a new information minister and a new deputy head of president administration on 5 April, BelTA has learned.

“An information war is underway. It is not a confrontation anymore (I wish it were at least a confrontation). I am afraid it is going to get worse in terms of this information confrontation,” the head of state stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that people are carefully selected for positions where it is necessary to deal with the relevant challenges: “We select such specialists very carefully. It is probably one out of thousands.”

Characterizing Vladimir Pertsov, who was appointed Information Minister, the president said that he watched him personally and knew him very well. “We considered you for various positions. I was just afraid of losing you in this bureaucratic infinity. It would be a great pity for me if we lost a very good journalist, political scientist and politician. I am telling you this frankly,” the head of state said.

As for the ministerial post, the president believes that “it is a little bit away from this boiling cauldron”. Moreover, there is a good practical component there - subordinate business entities. “In general, you are a young man. You have everything in front of you. I really want you to succeed in this position as a member of the government,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Speaking about the appointment of Igor Lutsky to the post of deputy head of the president administration, the head of state said that it was not easy to find a person who would “organize this process”. “You are a reliable, ideologically stable and steady person. Here I have no doubts. As an organizer, you have dealt with such issues before [the issues supervised at the new post, including ideology and mass media, as Igor Lutsky has a great experience working in the Information Ministry and holding other responsible positions in the media]. You are a well-established official, while Vladimir Borisovich [Pertsov] will have to readjust somehow,” the president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that everyone in their positions would have to organize the corresponding process, working in collaboration: “You [Igor Lutsky], as a person who has worked in the Information Ministry, can give a lot of advice. You maybe even get involved in some matters to help. Vladimir Borisovich [Pertsov], as one of the leading political scientists, journalists and politicians, can be a shoulder to lean on at any time in this organizational structure that the two of you will have to build together.”