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Lukashenko: Fight against corruption in Belarus decisive, transparent

MINSK, BelTA – The fight against corruption at all levels in Belarus has been the most decisive and transparent and will continue to be so, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said in his State of the Nation Address on 24 April, BelTA has learned.

“The economy and other areas are affected by corruption in the most devastating way. It could undermine the foundations of any state. It creates the ground for the growth of the shadow economy and undermines people's trust in the state. There should be no place for corruption in our country. The fight against corruption at all levels has been the most decisive and transparent and will continue to be so,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president noted that Belarusian mass media regularly report on high-profile arrests and punishment of officials for such crimes. “People may get the impression that everybody is a thieve. Of course, this is not the case. There are many honest, decent people in the government. They are an absolute majority, otherwise it would be simply impossible to work. The things that our citizens see on television and read in newspapers only show the openness of the authorities in combating corruption. People need to understand that no situation is hushed and that there are no untouchable people,” the head of state noted.

The recent personnel shuffle is a vivid example of it, Alexander Lukashenko said. “Last year I warned all the ministers that if corruption-related cases happen at the companies affiliated with their ministries, they would have to leave their posts. It seems that not everyone understood me on the first listen. That was why we had to part ways with the Sports and Tourism Minister and the Forestry Minister. In one case the director of the Minsk Palace of Sports took bribes from the entrepreneurs to lease out commercial spaces. Another corruption scheme was disclosed in the forestry sector. Good timber was marked as defective in the documents and was sold abroad illegally,” the president stressed.