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Belarus president addresses nation, parliament

Minsk (BelTA) Today's address to the nation and the parliament emphasizes the problems that have to be resolved this year. The statement was made by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in his address to the nation and the parliament on 29 April.

“I understand that today's talk in the Oval Hall will be analyzed from every angle, there will be a lot of discussions in mass media, in homes, at enterprises… Anticipating all of that, I would like to ask you to bear in mind that this year is very intense for us and the address will be peculiar. It will be up-to-date and certainly will take into account all the measures that will be implemented during the year,” said the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko pointed out that events relating to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War will be seriously analyzed soon. “There are too many speculations, attempts to rewrite the history, put the blame for that war on us. The accusations come close to claiming we were the reason for it. A lot will be said about that in the future,” noted the President.

Lukashenko: Peace, calm and order in Belarus

“We must admit that the situation in the world is changing much faster than we could imagine. Who could have thought that bombs and shells would explode in neighboring Ukraine? Who could have thought that the danger of a big war could emerge in Europe and the degree of tension between superpowers would increase to the level of the cold war? Today no one is hiding this, including these superpowers themselves,” the head of state said. 

Alexander Lukashenko  noted with regret that “certain people have forgotten the lessons of the Great Patriotic War.” The 70th anniversary of victory in this war will be celebrated in a few days. “Anybody could forget these lessons, but for Belarusians. That war claimed millions of lives of our people, therefore 70 years later we still know and remember that nothing is more precious than peace,” the President noted.

Lukashenko: Honest conversation between the government and the people will not be stopped in Belarus
“We have always followed the way of direct and honest conversations between the government and the people. We will not abandon the rule in the future,” stressed the head of state.

Belarus president in favor of faster informatization of economy
In his words, modern information technologies are not just a branch of the economy but one of the key levers to manage the economy and the society as a whole.

Lukashenko promises important decisions for Belarus' economy by year end
Alexander Lukashenko noted that the reasons for the current difficult economic situation in the country are evident. These are the sanctions against Belarus' main trading partner, a drop in oil prices, the Russian ruble devaluation and the Russian market contraction.

Lukashenko wants better management of state assets
"Competitiveness of enterprises depends on the efficiency of their management. If we do not improve the system of management of state assets and enterprises, we will continue to lose the struggle for markets,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

Belarus president in favor of more high-tech exports
“At present raw materials – potash fertilizers, crude oil and oil products, ferrous metals, timber — constitute a considerable part of Belarusian export. The crash of at least one of the markets negatively affects our entire economy,” he explained.

Lukashenko wants Belarus to become attractive to wealthy people
"We need to think over how to make Belarus attractive to wealthy people from around the world. I instruct the Government, the Parliament, and the National Bank to undertake an in-depth analysis of global developments in this area, and to take stock of the legislation that we have,” he said.

Lukashenko: The address to the nation reiterates the problems that have to be resolved this year

“I understand that today's talk in the Oval Hall will be analyzed from every angle, there will be a lot of discussions in mass media, in homes, at enterprises… Anticipating all of that, I would like to ask you to bear in mind that this year is very intense for us and the address will be peculiar. It will be up-to-date and certainly will take into account all the measures that will be implemented during the year,” said the head of state.

Lukashenko urges to fine-tune state support mechanism
“In the budget process it is needed to start allocating funds using the targeted program method. As economists say, this is result-oriented budgeting,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

Belarus president calls for more private investments in agriculture

“We will have to step up efforts meant to attract private investments to the agriculture. The government should encourage investors using individualized approaches while selling agricultural enterprises,” said the Belarusian leader. Alexander Lukashenko remarked that the introduction of state-of-the-art research products and cutting-edge practices was as important.

Lukashenko urges to include mortgage in housing construction support mechanism
“Mortgage lending, a system of housing construction savings, housing rent shall be included in the existing state support mechanism,” the head of state said.

Lukashenko wants restructuring of insolvent companies
The President noted that a prompt response to the changing environment is needed to win the competition. In this regard, the head of state instructed the government to set about restructuring debt-making companies with the help of investors.

Belarus president in favor of improving legal culture in national economy

“I would like the government, the Belarus President Administration, and the courts to work out and introduce a system of measures to improve the legal culture in the economy and increase trust in our court system by the end of the year,” said the head of state.

Lukashenko: Reduction of inflation is a priority
“Macroeconomic stability is a pillar of normal business. The reduction of inflation is a priority task for us. The population is concerned about the price growth,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

Lukashenko: Competitive conditions in Belarus are favorable

We have a normal situation and normal conditions. We should pull ourselves together and address the issues we have today,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko calls for more active development of SMEs
“The government together with entrepreneurs should review the whole chain, from setting up a business to closing it. Take a reasonable look at this process and significantly reduce the number of documents, statistical reports drawn up at all levels and at all stages. Pay special attention to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. They are the basis for the prosperity of any economy and the stability of any state,” the President noted.

Surplus to requirements in Belarusian government agencies
"With our discipline and responsibility (you can criticize them for some things) the numbers are still excessive. Define how many civil servants we really need, reduce the numbers by another 10%. Then we will be able to give decent salaries as well as the status of civil servants to those who stay,” said the head of state.

Lukashenko: Belarus needs strong families with at least three kids
The President remarked that it is necessary to reinforce the positive demographic processes in Belarus.

Manufacture of high-quality medications seen among Belarus' priorities
“In terms of value their share should make up 50% at the very least by the end of the year,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko urges to prevent unjustified price rise in Belarus

“Prices are growing all the time. The authorities say that people should pay more for utilities services; they say that the prices for foodstuffs are too low, the energy sector is poor; that we need to increase prices and revenues of oil refineries which are in the process of modernization. They say that salaries are too low. It must be stopped,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko: Science in Belarus should address relevant tasks

“Academic, industry-specific and university science should be focused on addressing relevant tasks facing the country. We are particularly interested in engineering, agricultural and healthcare sciences and the solutions that will be in demand by the economy,” the Belarusian leader said.

Belarus president: Discuss problems in the parliament instead of streets
“The Belarus parliament is the key platform for a dialogue. Representatives of different population strata can use the platform to discuss issues of vital importance for the country,” said the President.

Lukashenko warns against underestimating impact of media on society
"In today's world, where the role and influence of the media constantly grows, it will be a luxury for any country to underestimate their impact on society. Belarus will not be able to stay away from these global processes. We have to take a fresh look at the existing system of protection of the information space. It should be flexible, meeting all the demands of the time,” the President said.

Lukashenko: Price increase is due to lack of competition
“We should admit that the price increase is the result of poor competition. The government should promote fair competition. Unfortunately, our antimonopoly service is weak and lacks initiative. We should think of how to improve its work,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

Belarus against sanctions, restrictions in international cooperation
“We are always ready to lend a helping hand to the neighbor in a difficult situation. In return we expect respect devoid of legal nihilism and sanction pressure from our partners,” the head of state stressed.

Lukashenko: Belarus will stay independent in the Eurasian Economic Union
“Our opponents are trying to scare us by saying that Belarus will lose its independence once the country is part of the integration association. Such claims are absolutely groundless. You can see that,” stressed the head of state.

Lukashenko counts on U.S. political will in removing problems in relations with Belarus
"We have identified further concrete steps to increase the level of confidence in bilateral relations,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Lukashenko believes in closer ties between EU, EEU
“Despite the ongoing escalation of the geopolitical situation, I believe that our idea of the integration of integrations is still relevant and promising. We will eventually succeed in bridging the gap between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union and in establishing Big Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Belarus' presidency in the EEU will contribute to the materialization of this idea,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Lukashenko urges government bodies to talk to opposition

“I urge all government bodies and the parliament not to refuse to talk to the opposition and even to members of the fifth column as we call them. We cannot but talk to them. They are members of the society, citizens of our country,” the President said. “Do not avoid such discussions, contact with these people. It is needed to talk to them,” he added. Alexander Lukashenko stressed that not all opposition members want to disturb the country. The head of state believes that certain opposition members have realized the meaning of stability and peace.

Belarusian companies told to come up with precise strategy to conquer Asian market
Alexander Lukashenko stressed that the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with countries of Asia, Latin America, Africa, the establishment of the “far arc” of Belarus' foreign policy are a priority. “Cooperation with countries in these regions will allow us to find additional footholds that will make our foreign political and foreign economic positions more stable,” said the Belarusian leader.

Belarus develops Clean Water program for 2016-2020

“The government is working out the Clean Water program for 2016-2020. I guarantee that this issue will be solved in the next five-year period,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko: Belarus has never put obstacles to European business

“Even with the political relations being complicated, the European Union remains one of Belarus' main trading and economic partners, a source of credit resources and investment," Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko pledges targeted support for promising industrial enterprises

“We use a case-by-case approach. If we see that a company is doing its best, but cannot handle objective difficulties, we will lend a hand,” the head of state said.

Belarus proud of close ties with Russia, China, India, improving relations with EU
“We are proud that we have good relations with such giants as Russia, China, and India and are happy that our relations with the EU are improving,” the Belarusian leader said.

Lukashenko: Amnesty possible for people convicted of economic crimes
“You know my attitude to economic crimes, especially corruption. There are economic crimes however when a person pays for the damage in full. I think we can do this in such cases,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Belarus ready to field 500,000-strong army
“You can calm down: today we have plans to raise and arm 500,000 Belarusians if the situation is aggravated. The force will be sufficient for counteracting any designs,” said the Belarus President.

Lukashenko welcomes U.S. possible involvement in Ukraine crisis settlement

If the United States intends to normalize the situation in the south-east of Ukraine, no doubt the situation will be normalized. If the United States takes a different stand, there will be no peace. Everybody understands this, even ordinary people,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.

Lukashenko urges to use national culture for creating positive image of Belarus

“Huge funds have been invested in the revival and renovation of a number of objects. However, we still underuse the potential of the Belarusian culture in the formation of the positive image of the country in the international arena. We need high-quality literature, paintings, theater productions, films to illustrate the life of our young sovereign state,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko: Belarus will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Russia

"Everyone must be told that we have been together with Russia and will always be. No idle talks about Crimea, deviations and adjustments in Belarus' policy can be allowed,” stressed the head of state.

Lukashenko: Belarus will never pursue frenzied nationalistic policy

"Many in Belarus are intermarried and are interrelated with the Russians, Poles, Jews, and other ethnicities. We never paid any attention to this and never will. We are under-populated. We need to have at least 20 million people. Why will we pursue a frenzied nationalistic policy? To drive away people who were born here or whose parents were born here? This is nonsense of the highest order!” Alexander Lukashenko said.