Alexander Lukashenko said that neither he nor other power structures will make decisions on important issues without the approval of the people. He commented on the protests, promised to restore order in the capital on Sunday, and repeated that he was not holding onto power with his “blue hands”. On 20 October, Lukashenko made a number of personnel appointments, the press service of the President of Belarus reports.
As long as I am president, Belarusians will decide
Lukashenko said that neither he nor other power structures will make decisions on important issues alone without the approval of the people.
“Like I said before, we will not give the country away, so we will not give it away. And as long as I am a president, the Belarusian people will take decisions. Only people will decide. Not the president, not the head of the administration, top officials or deputies. And they will submit 10, 20, 30 issues to the people and as they decide, so it shall be,” said Lukashenko.
“If all of a sudden the people decide that tomorrow they want to be part of NATO, the North Atlantic bloc, as the protesters suggest, they will join NATO. If the people decide to cut the country into pieces and hand it out, the country will be cut. But if the people decide they want to live in a peaceful, calm, quiet, cultured country, then we will live in such a country.
So that none of the so-called elite have misconceptions that we will be smart about something, especially about the Constitution, and make a new Constitution through deception. It will not happen. Only people have to decide. These are critical times. If people want something other than the path we followed, well, let them do it.”
He noted that Ukrainians and Russians say that people in Belarus had not been scared enough, that they had not lived really bad and this is why it seems to them that everything will fall from the sky.
“Nothing will fall from the sky. And the older generations, and even people of your age 35, 40-50 years old they understand that they have to work hard until they turn blue in order to live well. We have no easy money. We have to earn everything with our own hands. I want you to convey this to every person. Although you have only a few of them there.
There may be a dozen or two of so-called smarties at Naftan. They, of course, do not determine the development of this enterprise, but they must clearly understand. What kind of appeals are those? Don’t buy Belarusian products, don’t pay taxes, stop Belarusian enterprises?”
“It’s easy for them sitting far beyond the borders of Belarus, on the provision of you know who, to argue. Therefore, people must clearly understand our position. Everything will be as they decide. This is my consistent principled position. I want you to understand her. This does not mean that I will sit idle and wait until they twist my and your heads off. No, there are general constitutional principles. Power must be power,” Lukashenko said.
Order will be restored in Minsk on Sunday
When appointing rectors of three universities, he said: “It is not our policy to pretend that nothing is happening at the universities. We know all the problems, you know about them as well as I do.”
At the same time, he noted that “it is no disaster,” but the new rectors would have to restore order in their universities. Lukashenko assured that if the new rectors asked, he would visit their universities to discuss issues and meet with students.
“I am ready to come and talk with students with you, to explain my position. We have no need to make excuses, even in front of the students. We did what we could. Let others do better. Such an opportunity will soon be provided,” Lukashenko said.
He also mentioned the protests taking place on Sundays in the capital and said that students have nothing to do at such events.
“Order will be restored in Minsk on Sunday. Because they [the participants of unauthorised protests – BelarusFeed note] mostly walk on Sundays. Well, they showed what they are worth. You saw it too, good. And now you need to explain just once, to warn them, and then not lull them.
You tell them, explain it to them, after which they are free to decide whether they want to study or not. As a rector, you should be the first ones to report on how many people do not want to study. Well, if they don’t want to study – let them. Some will join the army, others will go to work or somewhere else. This is the right to choose. Especially now.”
It is not about me, it is about you
Lukashenko reiterated that he was not holding onto power with “blue hands”.
“It is not about me, it is about you: what will happen to you without me. Maybe I overestimate my role here, but I look at yesterday’s veterans [a rally of security forces retirees – BelarusFeed note], at you. It’s you who will live in this country. What will happen [to you]? Do you think they will pity us/you, those from yesterday’s march, have you seen them? Will they pity you? They will tear [you] to pieces,” he said.
- Lukashenko noted that time requires reliable people, loyal and devoted to their state. Appointing a new head of Naftan, he said: “The enterprise has its problems. You know that better than I do. Corrupt officials are always eyeing it and all sorts of thieves who want to privatize the enterprise, and preferably for a pittance.”
- He warned about responsibility for illegal actions at rallies: “We will easily find everyone. Modern means allow us to do this, which, by the way, we are doing. “
- He called 73-year-old activist Nina Baginskaya a convinced person and ordered not to detain her.