The work schedule of the Belarus president is always full of events. Aleksandr Lukashenko holds conferences and working meetings on the most topical matters concerning the country’s development, regularly visits the regions, goes on foreign trips and welcomes foreign guests, talks to reporters, signs decrees and laws. And even if there are no public events, it does not mean that the head of state does not work. It must be said that even when he relaxes, for instance, by playing ice hockey or chopping firewood, Aleksandr Lukashenko happens to find the time to give yet another instruction. All the decisions must be prompted by life, he likes to say.
The President’s Week project is intended for those, who want to keep up with the head of state, be up-to-date on the latest statements and decisions of the Belarusian leader.
What Belarusian products is Russia’s Tambov Oblast eager to buy? Will the sides establish manufacturing cooperation links? How will a presidential decree help combat financial fraud? Who did Aleksandr Lukashenko gift watermelons to and who did he talk to on his birthday? Why did he convene the Security Council? About what did he warn Poland? When will Belarus pull out all the stops?
Two red-letter days on the calendar – Knowledge Day and Belarusian Written Language Day – are also in this episode. What does mother tongue mean for the president and for the life of every Belarusian? Who are the country’s future and the country’s greatest treasure according to Aleksandr Lukashenko? These and many other things are covered by the latest episode of BelTA’s special project President’s Week.
GROWTH POINTS. What impressions did the Tambov Oblast governor leave Belarus with?
Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Governor of Russia’s Tambov Oblast Maxim Yegorov in the Palace of Independence on 29 August. Interaction with this Russian region has been developing quite well for a long time. In 2022 the sides reached an all-time high in mutual trade since 2017 – about $180 million (nearly 80% up). However, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that these are comparatively small figures and it is necessary to advance cooperation to greater heights.
The Tambov Oblast delegation visited a number of enterprises, including MTZ, MAZ, BKM Holding, and Amkodor. Meetings and negotiations were also held with the central government, the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, top executives of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange, and the Hi-Tech Park.
Sales of Belarusian machines, vehicles, equipment
Among the most promising areas the head of state mentioned deliveries of Belarusian trucks, municipal vehicles, road-building machines and elevator equipment. “We can produce everything concerning machines, equipment, and vehicles and meet the needs of your region. We are ready to supply passenger vehicles, including gas-fueled buses, trolleybuses and electrobuses with the required characteristics,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We can also supply you with as many tractors, harvesters, other machinery as you need.”
A large number of Belarusian machines and vehicles are already used by the agricultural sector and the housing and utility sector of Tambov Oblast. The withdrawal of a number of foreign manufacturers due to sanctions fueled an even greater interest in Belarus-made machines and vehicles. “We are confident that the unique enterprises that were founded back in Soviet times in cooperation with various regions will be able to meet our needs. We are already negotiating the purchase of equipment: buses, agricultural machinery, municipal vehicles,” the governor said.
The governor mentioned interest in electric vehicles: trolleybuses, electrobuses. He said: “We are also interested in this. Perhaps, we will conclude some contracts to buy them.”
According to the head of state, time makes it necessary to move more actively from simple commodity exchange to the development of manufacturing cooperation, to concentrate efforts on import substitution. It will ensure technological independence and security, he emphasized.
Tambov Oblast suggested using manufacturing premises of the joint-stock company Tambovspetsmash for realizing manufacturing cooperation projects. “Are there any problems that require solutions at my level?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.
After the meeting with the head of state Maxim Yegorov shared details with reporters: “We have a production site. European tractors used to be assembled there. They [the European partners] left. It was even before the introduction of sanctions. We have agreed today that we will start from SKD assembly, and after that we might localize production [of Belarusian equipment]. In addition to agricultural equipment, we might as well assemble buses.”
The Tambov Oblast governor is convinced that particularly amid sanctions it is necessary to support each other, promote cooperation and restore the level of manufacturing cooperation that existed in the days of the Soviet Union, with an emphasis on import substitution.
Cooperation in agribusiness and drone manufacturing
Belarus is also ready to provide practical assistance with the construction of grain and vegetable storage facilities, supplies of equipment for dairy farms. “I know that the region is very developed in this respect, and you pay a lot of attention to it. Our proposals have been sent to you. It will be very useful to share the best practices in modern agricultural technologies and the processing of agricultural products, plant selection and pedigree work, training of qualified personnel for the agro-industrial complex,” the president said.
As for the development of modern technologies in agribusiness, the Russian region is also interested in cooperation in the sphere of unmanned aviation. “A fairly large number of enterprises in Tambov Oblast are engaged in the production of unmanned aircraft for farmers. There is something to work on. Both Tambov Oblast and Belarus have interesting advances in this field,” Maxim Yegorov told reporters.
He clarified that Russia is launching a national project on unmanned aerial vehicles, and the region’s companies expect to get in on it. Drones can be used to monitor farmlands and apply fertilizers. There is also interest in unmanned systems that help operate agricultural machinery. This matter was discussed during the visit of the Russian delegation to Minsk Tractor Works the day before.
Construction and water purification
During the meeting with the Tambov Oblast governor the president also touched upon the issues that need to be resolved. According to him, there is some slowdown in cooperation in civil engineering. This topic is very important for the population as it directly affects the quality of life, Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out.
“If you need professional support of our builders, you can count on us,” the Belarusian leader said. “We are also ready to intensify joint work on your Clean Water project with the use of modern technologies and equipment for water purification, water disposal.”
Humanitarian cooperation and patriotic upbringing
“While dealing with economic affairs, we should not forget about exchange programs for university students and school students, about healthcare, science, education, culture, and tourism – the things that are called the humanitarian sector. These are the very links that help us get to know each other better. They are especially important for the education of our youth. It is the most important issue both in Russia and in our country,” the president assured.
Maxim Yegorov fully agrees with this approach. He demonstrated the importance of preserving historical memory and of patriotic upbringing of young people in deeds instead of words. He had previously visited Belarus as a tourist. Despite the intensive itinerary of the business trip the Tambov Oblast delegation found some time to visit the Great Patriotic War museum. The governor said: “You have remarkable cultural legacy objects. I’ve been to virtually all the castles. Back in 2014. Good museums. I’d like to single out the Great Patriotic War museum, which we visited yesterday. We will definitely bring a delegation of Tambov school students, university students to the museum. Because our entire delegation was impressed. You know we didn’t expect it. And it is very good.”
Maxim Yegorov noted that while in Belarus they had discussed the matter of patriotic upbringing of young people with colleagues: “Unfortunately, we lost a generation in the 1990s – early 2000s. Getting back to the Great Patriotic War, I’d like to say that I know and love history very much but I hadn’t seen some exhibits. I was pleasantly surprised. And we have to tell people about it. We have to tell our children about horrors of Nazism. Belarus is one of the countries that have suffered at the hands of the Nazi the most.”
BARRIER AGAINST SCAMMERS. When will the new presidential decree on counteracting unauthorized payment transactions start working?
This week Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed decree No.269 “On measures to counteract unauthorized payment transactions”.
Information technologies advance and make banking products accessible and convenient for people. But there is another side of the process: frauds, scams, and unauthorized payment transactions. These are operations carried out without the approval of the account owner or with the approval but under the influence of third parties, who deceive the account owner. The central bank, the banking system, and law enforcement agencies already pay a lot of attention to the counteraction of unauthorized transactions. But it is now time to raise the fight up a notch. The decree the president has signed allows it.
According to the document, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus will organize the sharing of data about unauthorized payment transactions and attempts to make them between law enforcement agencies and payment service providers. During a media briefing in BelTA’s press center Head of the Information Protection Office of the National Bank Inna Legchilova noted: “We expect that by 1 March 2024 we will get an integrated mechanism, which will help us not only detect unauthorized payment transactions but will enable us to respond immediately while acting completely in accordance with the law.”
The receipt, storage, use and transfer of information about such incidents will be done through the automated incident processing system of the National Bank in compliance with the legislation on information and personal data protection. Apart from that, law enforcement agencies will be able to suspend operations, which the bank recognizes as unauthorized ones. On the whole, creating a system that allows responding to scams fast is the idea.
According to Andrei Motolko, Chief of the Central Office for Digital Development of Preliminary Investigation of the Central Office of Belarus’ Investigative Committee, the decree is a forward-thinking and unprecedented legal instrument, which will allow promptly sharing information about incidents with the banking sector. It will also allow promptly blocking unauthorized movement of monetary funds, thus protecting legal rights and interests of consumers and stopping criminal activities.
CAKE DAY. How did Aleksandr Lukashenko spend his birthday?
Aleksandr Lukashenko held a number of telephone conversations with foreign leaders on 30 August, the press service of the Belarusian leader told BelTA in the evening.
There is no doubt that heads of state always have something worth discussing. For instance, on that day Aleksandr Lukashenko talked to President of Russia Vladimir Putin to discuss the bilateral agenda and pressing issues of the regional and international situation. Promising avenues for advancing Belarus-Kazakhstan cooperation were discussed in a phone conversation with Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The leaders also exchanged views on international problems. Aleksandr Lukashenko also talked to the first Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev over the phone.
But in addition to business 30 August offered another significant reason for talking to the foreign counterparts – Aleksandr Lukashenko’s birthday. The heads of state wished happy birthday to the Belarus president personally and in numerous messages.
A couple years ago Aleksandr Lukashenko told reporters that he maintains a calm attitude to birthday celebrations and believes there is no need to go an extra mile to celebrate another milestone. Although he is not totally against the matter.
And although people, who celebrate birthdays, are supposed to receive gifts on this special occasion, this year Aleksandr Lukashenko went against the established custom and treated reporters of the presidential pool, who usually cover his work, to the watermelons collected from his own field. Last year in addition to watermelons the president also treated mass media workers to honey collected from a bee farm where he grew up and to vitamin-rich apple juice. The entire country still remembers the contest of dishes made out of the potatoes gifted by the head of state. Some potatoes were kept as seeds and have already been used to produce a new harvest.
INTENSE SITUATION. Why did the president convene the Security Council?
Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a session of the Security Council on the last day of summer. A number of matters geared towards ensuring national security were put on the agenda.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated: “Due to the tense situation in the world and directly at our borders, due to the sanctions-fuelled pressure we cannot be absolutely calm and confident in tomorrow.”
NATO countries and stupid demands
NATO countries persistently pursue an expansionist policy, build up military presence around Belarus, and constantly stage provocative exercises at Belarusian borders in addition to taking other actions. “They have already gone so far that their military personnel violate the state border. Well, we will clarify it today,” the head of state noted. On 30 August the State Border Committee of Belarus reported a violation of Belarus’ border by armed Latvian military personnel. On 1 September a Polish army helicopter violated Belarus’ air space.
The president went on saying: “They justify their actions by some threats that allegedly originate from Belarus’ territory. The leaders of Poland and the Baltic states accuse Belarus of some mythic aggressive intensions that we’ve never had and cannot have.”
He stated that the leaders of these countries are also whipping up hysteria around the presence of personnel of the private military company (PMC) Wagner in Belarus’ territory. “They went as far as to demand their immediate withdrawal from Belarus. At the same time, they themselves are increasing military budgets, amassing large military formations at our border,” he noted. “Everything is simple: neither Poland, nor Lithuania nor other Baltic countries should have a single foreign military officer or soldier on their territory. Only in this case they have the right to protest against the presence of the military from other countries here. Otherwise, these are unreasonable and stupid demands (not even requests and proposals, but demands).”
A dangerous step
In addition, in April Warsaw announced its decision to suspend its Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty obligations in relation to Belarus, though this is actually the last legally binding international document in the field of arms control. “This is already a dangerous step, and we should keep reminding Poland’s leadership about this – so that their decisions will not come back to hurt them,” the Belarusian leader said.
“How should we respond to this? I’m not even talking about the training of our self-exiled opposition on their territory for a military coup in Belarus. I want to warn once again that we will not hesitate to respond. Though, credit where credit is due, our self-exiled opposition members in Poland, Lithuania and especially in Ukraine understand what for they are being used,” the president added.
Readiness to restore good relations
At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that Belarus is ready to restore good relations with its neighbors, who cannot be chosen as he says. “However, in response to all our messages we hear only accusations and threats. It means that they don’t need any normalization at all,” he pointed out.
In confirmation of what was said and in order to rule out any insinuations, Belarus invited Poland’s representatives to observe the Collective Security Treaty Organization exercise Combat Brotherhood 2023, which began in Brest Oblast on 1 September.
Poland has not availed itself of the offer at the time of the publication. But there is still time: three days are left till the final stage of the exercise. Nevertheless, Belarus and the CSTO Secretariat invited international observers according to international requirements and demonstrate openness and love of peace unlike the neighbors.
The exercise itself is a planned one and focuses largely on staff matters. Last week Aleksandr Lukashenko offered assurances that the West should absolutely not worry about the exercise.
It is worth noting that western neighbors do not invite Belarus’ representatives as observers when they stage military exercises in their own territory.
ART AND FINANCE. How much is the state willing to invest in theaters?
Another significant decree Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed this week deals with support for individual state cultural institutions. Approaches to the funding of state theaters will change as from 1 January 2024.
The funding of expenses by the state budget and the theaters themselves will follow the 60/40 ratio for the sake of creating new plays and organizing tours. The same ratio will be observed in payments for utilities and operation costs, the payment of salaries. Current repairs and capital repairs, purchase of equipment and other basic assets will be fully covered by the state budget.
The decree allows spending gratuitous (sponsor) money on bonuses for workers of state cultural institutions. The option is supposed to expand the mechanism of social support for staff personnel and to increase their motivation. The new approaches will stay in effect till the end of 2024.
The president’s press service noted that the realization of the decree is supposed to have a positive influence on theater repertoires, on the invigoration of creative activities and tour activities.
The matter of theater funding was discussed at a meeting of the president with top officials of the Council of Ministers on 14 February 2023. Back then Aleksandr Lukashenko approved the draft decree and gave instructions to polish the relevant matters.
THE COUNTRY’S FUTURE. What is Belarus’ greatest treasure? Why is it more important than oil and natural gas?
On 1 September, Knowledge Day Aleksandr Lukashenko traditionally visits education institutions and meets with their students. This year has been no exception. The head of state went to the National Children’s Technopark in Minsk.
The Children’s Technopark started working on 1 January 2021. The experience of the Russian center Sirius in Sochi was used to create the Belarusian technopark. Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned it while talking to technopark students: “I had visited the place several times and had learned the center inside out. And President of Russia Vladimir Putin was my guide back then. He was the initiator of creating the Sirius center in Sochi. Back then I told him that it would be a good idea to create a similar technopark in Belarus and I would like Sirius to provide support. He gave the instruction right away. And thus, we started setting up this center here while relying on Russia’s experience first and foremost and then on the entire world experience.”
Since the National Children’s Technopark was established, it has taught 1,930 students of the 9-11 forms and has held 25 educational shifts, with each lasting for 24 days. The average number of candidates per one spot in the technopark stands at three. It is worth noting that most of the students, who have been admitted to the technopark, are not from Minsk. In the technopark kids get knowledge in 15 areas of the greatest promise to the economy, including green chemistry, nano industry and nano technology, virtual and augmented reality, engineering ecology, aerospace technologies. Leading scientists and specialists of universities, promising young scientists are invited to teach in the technopark.
In the new academic year the technopark intends to introduce academic programs that match the areas of scientific research of Belarus’ Military Academy. The most promising projects of the students focus on ecofriendly packaging and will be patented. There are also plans to arrange classes and hobby groups for students of 5-8 forms.
Students greeted the head of state outside the technopark. Before going inside the president could learn information first-hand. The kids talked about the education process and about their impressions.
“You are our future. You are great people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko praised the students.
The president asked Director of the National Children’s Technopark Sergei Sachko whether the decision to set up the technopark had been the right one. “They are the elite, the future of our country,” Sergei Sachko is convinced.
Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the kids during an impromptu school assembly in front of the technopark’s entrance: “It is a great temple of the most promising, smartest, most advanced, and most literate people. You are not children. You are already adults. Your knowledge and even experience – all of it together indicates that you are adult people. It is the thirst for new knowledge that has brought you, gifted and talented people to our national technopark.”
The president went on saying: “I should tell you that it is only the beginning. I know that the number of people willing to study here and get more sophisticated, more advanced knowledge is considerably larger. If talented people remain overboard (three people per seat), then it is necessary to expand this technopark to such limits and capabilities, which will allow all the kids, who want to get more contemporary knowledge and more advanced knowledge, to enjoy this opportunity.”
Work for the benefit of the native country
The president also stressed that it is important for the graduates of the National Children’s Technopark to work for the benefit of their own country and remember the country later on: “I want you to live in the land that have nurtured you. It is certainly worrying me,” he said.
“Although I understand that you are people of the future, people of science. And science cannot be restricted to confines of even the largest and most advanced state these days. Science is international. It has always been like that. And science has development prospects only if it is international. But wherever you may be, you have to remember that it is your land. That this land has done everything for you to grow up to be literate and sophisticated people and to be able to work in any country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Commercialization of inventions
The head of state remarked that the current students of the technopark are kind of pioneers because for two years they have been practicing and testing and looking for better ways to do things in this institution. “And this year you study here, you get knowledge and practice as contemporary people. One can say as people, who are originators,” he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also drew attention to the commercialization of results of the work of the technopark students. “You are no longer little kids. You create some product. I say ‘some’ because I don’t know whether the market will like it and whether you can sell it. But we will do everything and will help you if you devise something, if you invent something useful for manufacturing sector, for our country. Something for manufacturing sector, agriculture, transport, communications, and so on. We will buy this product from you as a matter of priority with pleasure,” the Belarusian leader assured.
“In other words, today you have to make and sell, commercialize your knowledge,” he stressed.
Belarus’ greatest treasure
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, by creating this technopark the country looked beyond the horizon among other things. One of the first instructions the president gave back in the day was to create a foundation for supporting gifted and talented youth.
The president said: “I’ve always said and I say it today: talented people, the intellect of the nation represent the greatest treasure for Belarus. If we have such people, we will overcome any challenges. We may do without large supplies of oil and natural gas. You also contribute to the lasting sovereignty and statehood. You are the future as a general matter. You are the smartest and you have proven it. At this stage of life you’ve proven that you are smart people and would like to get more knowledge. In literally several years you will have to rule this country, protect this country, and raise your kids in this land. And even if some leave the country for some time, they will come back with new knowledge.”
New accomplishments “on the shoulders of giants” and the key goal
Addressing the kids, the president noted that for now they make only timid steps into the captivating world of knowledge and discoveries but they have to remember that modern knowledge did not come out of nowhere: “You stand on the shoulders of giants, as the classic put it. You stand on the shoulders of those, who discovered this knowledge once. And we can say with pleasure names of people like Zhores Alferov, Pavel Sukhoi, Mikhail Vysotsky and other compatriots, who are famed far and wide.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I believe in you and am convinced that today I talk to future Belarusian academicians, inventors, and creators of new products, which will find their place on world markets.”
The head of state urged the students to aim for great goals and create in the name of peace: “You should see the key goal in front of you: peace and a sky full of light above your head.”
The most difficult period in one’s life
The head of state reminded that education institutions are temples of knowledge. And order must always reign supreme in such temples. The president stressed that studying involves a lot of work. “Guys, no other period in your life will be harder than this one. Everything else will be much easier if you set your life on the right course. You will go to work like you go on vacation if you set the right course. Things will be easier later on. It is difficult now. And it is very important for you to live through this difficult period of life. A lot depends on us, parents and pedagogues. But more depends on you,” he said.
The head of state wished the kids good health and urged them to live an active life, spend more time in sport grounds. “In short, keep moving! In everything. In sport and in life. While studying. If you need my support, contact me. We will definitely help you. We will help because you’ve taken risks. You have become the first ones and it is worthy of respect,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
As a Knowledge Day gift to the technopark Aleksandr Lukashenko presented a certificate for a minibus, which will help the kids get faster to various offsite events within the framework of the curriculum.
Sovereignty and independence
The head of state noted that the history had gifted sovereignty to Belarus and its people unexpectedly and accidentally to some extent. It is now necessary to preserve sovereignty. “It is the first time we’ve become an independent state as far as it is possible,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that independence is a relative term because there are no absolutely independent countries in today’s world. It is true even for the largest, most powerful, and most advanced countries, which need support and allies one way or another. “This is why independence is a relative term. But we have this independence and we have sovereignty. We have to preserve it so that we would never allow the generations that will follow us to be enslaved. If we have more people like you, we will definitely never be enslaved and will not wear bast shoes,” he is convinced.
University admission procedures
The head of state was informed about the structure of the technopark, areas of its activity, the system of work with gifted youth and prospects for the development of the educational institution. The director also explained the technopark admission rules. Students make applications, then attend in-person interviews and perform test tasks.
The head of state instructed to study the technopark’s practices and work out a university admission mechanism for its students: “Why can’t we apply the park’s experience for university admission?” Aleksandr Lukashenko told Education Minister Andrei Ivanets. “For example, ask them to do a test, a face-to-face interview and enroll them”.
“According to your instruction, we have enrolled employer-sponsored applicants this way this year,” the education minister replied.
“What about other students?” the president asked.
“No, other students are not enrolled like that, but we will look into the matter and make proposals on humanitarian areas,” the minister said.
“We need to choose a university admission mechanism. We need to decide what is better: tests or interviews. We need to work out the best option,” the head of state stressed.
The president’s main message regarding the technopark’s graduates was about their future activities. This means that these gifted, capable students, who have gained valuable knowledge and experience, should be employed for the benefit of their country.
“Make sure these kids are not lost. They are unique children,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
New university admission rules for the technopark’s students have already been in place during this year’s university admission campaign. 23 technopark graduates were enrolled in universities without entrance exams on the recommendation of the supervisory board of the technopark.
According to Sergei Sachko, the park administration aims to establish a system of accompanying its graduates to their first job. They intend to do this in close cooperation with universities. The National Children’s Technopark also intends to update its training programs and develop projects to meet the needs of the real sector of the country’s economy.
Happiness from what he saw
Aleksandr Lukashenko visited an education and lab wing where he took a close look at the operation of the labs specializing in aerospace technologies, electronics and communications, robot technology, and energy solutions of the future.
The president urged the kids to primarily focus on practical applications. “Create. Do things. If it is useful in life, if it is useful for the country, we will support it,” he assured.
In the electronics and communications lab Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the professor and the students to test Belarusian communications solutions and identify bottlenecks.
“We need cutting-edge communications solutions. Will you be able to help us? Not only with defense applications. Because you are the perspective,” he said.
The kids demonstrated their own system for detecting and tracking the emotional state of people. They informed the head of state about the project and demonstrated it in action. The system tracked emotions of the children when Aleksandr Lukashenko was making a speech during the technopark assembly. What did the faces of the students show? For instance, 63% showed happiness, 18% interest. Pride and respect were also present.
To make it more convincing, the young scientists also scanned emotions of their guests: the president and various officials. In particular, the face of the head of state showed happiness. Faces of other people, who were present, also demonstrated either happiness or interest.
The development of a system for the remote monitoring of agricultural land was also presented before the head of state. Unmanned aerial vehicles help see what lands need more fertilizers.
“It is necessary to arrange a trial run in some agricultural enterprise. They should take these drones and take a look at the fields. So bring your devices. We will organize everything,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Nuclear energy is also studied in the children’s technopark. The school students have worked out a project for modernizing nuclear power plants in order to reduce maintenance costs, bolster performance and respectively reduce the investment recoupment time. “It is very interesting if it pans out. Hurry up. In science the effect will be greater if you hurry up and get things done faster than others,” the president noted.
The other R&D products demonstrated to the head of state included smart glasses, highly effective coal-based absorbent, a Tetra Pak packaging analog, a speech data security system, and the use of flax manufacturing waste for energy purposes. All of them are commercial prototypes. The head of state emphasized all the time that the kids should bring their R&D products not only to scientific conferences. These products should be polished at enterprises and should be assimilated into the manufacturing sector if possible. He instructed the government and the Minsk city administration to take care of the matter.
WELLSPRING OF WISDOM. What is Lukashenko’s attitude to the mother tongue?
The country traditionally marks Belarusian Written Language Day on the first Sunday in September. The festivities took place in Gorodok, Vitebsk Oblast this year. The president sent greetings to participants and guests of the festival, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.
Aleksandr Lukashenko described Belarusian Written Language Day as a celebration of national culture, printed word, and Belarusian spirituality. Belarusian Written Language Day has been held in many famous centers of culture and enlightenment across Belarus, including Polotsk, Turov, Novogrudok, Nesvizh, Pinsk, Zaslavl, and Shklov. Names of the best domestic internationally recognized authors are associated with them such as Euphrosyne of Polotsk, Kirill of Turov, Piotr of Mstislavl, Spiridon Sobol, and Simeon of Polotsk.
It is symbolical that the 30th anniversary coincides with the Year of Peace and Creation and is celebrated in the hospitable Vitebsk land where Belarusian statehood was born and the oldest book printing center is located.
“Mother tongue, knowledge, and traditions of ancestors always bring people together, inspire them to work hard, allow them to overcome difficulties and hardships. They represent an inexhaustible wellspring of strength and wisdom of the people, a pillar for nurturing patriotism and love of the Fatherland,” the president stressed.
The head of state wished good health, happiness, life wisdom, and creative work for the benefit of the Motherland to participants and guests of the festival.