I am very glad to see you all in this hall sound like a trout. Traditionally, such meetings are absolutely the most important channel of communication with a multimillion audience and an opportunity to outline positions on problems of concern to people, to reach out to those who, for various reasons, have not fully understood the current politics, including our foreign friends, who sometimes do not quite correctly assess the situation in Belarus and its place in the international community. This is not surprising if we consider how information about events in our country is distorted, and the increase in this distortion occurs in proportion to the distance from our borders.
The world today lives in conditions of serious upheavals that require deep analysis. We are witnessing the breakdown of the usual way of life, the immersion of the planet in a systemic crisis almost online. Many media outlets call coronavirus the main reason for this. I repeat: this is a screen, behind which global players are once again trying to remake the world in their own way. It is clear that they have plans in the post-Soviet space, including Belarus. Paradoxically, this is a weighty argument that confirms that the Belarusian state has taken place, has political weight, and serious economic potential.
We unequivocally assess the post-election events in the country as an attempt at an unconstitutional coup along the lines of color revolutions. There is no smell of revolution here because there are no revolutionaries. The driving force behind these riots is an external factor. The motive is clear: over a quarter of a century, Belarus has built an effective model of a social state structure that makes it possible to defend national interests. Belarus has become a member of the club of space and nuclear powers, creating a new economy on the basis of high technologies. There are obvious attempts to belittle all these achievements by removing a competitor, destroying our industrial potential. Particularly trying are those who in the post-Soviet era destroyed their own production. We know that this is the right path to the collapse of the economy, the social protection system, and to the impoverishment of the people. We have observed and are observing similar events in other republics of the former Soviet Union: Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova. I am sure that the same technologies will soon be applied in Russia and in other countries of the Commonwealth.
What are the conclusions? Any color revolution makes the state weaker and the people poorer. After these riots, people don’t people live better. The main remedy for this scourge is also known - it is the expansion and deepening of our ties, integration in all formats: bilateral, CIS, CSTO, primarily in the spheres of economy, security, and human communication. Many saw the light and realized that in alternative integration projects we are assigned the role of donors of raw materials, cheap labor, and a market for secondary goods. Only coordinated strategic planning, the real development of industrial cooperation, and mutual support will help all of us to deal with global problems relatively painlessly and resist threats to sovereignty, peace, and stability. We just need to rally and act as a united front in the international arena. Only then will our peoples be able to preserve the ability to independently decide their own destiny.
You recently said that "they won't be able to take Belarus if the economy collapses." Well, the energy sector will certainly not fail, because Russia recently helped open a Belarusian nuclear power plant. And the Russian media at a critical moment provided Belarus with their significant support. How obvious is the value of such support from Russia to you? And if all of a sudden Western scriptwriters do not have a "B" plan and everything is working out, does this value of supporting Russia devalue in your eyes?
The fact that the EU does not know what to do with Lukashenko is not a secret for you, because they always try to do something with me. But they shouldn’t do anything neither with Lukashenko, nor with Putin, nor with Tokayev, nor with Nazarbayev, nor with Dodon, and even with Volodya Zelensky - nothing should be done. The Belarusian people chose us and they will do something with us.
If we talk about Lukashenko, this is exclusively the sphere of attention and interests of the Belarusian people. This is not my first year in politics, maybe I have already been too late in this policy, and this is one side of the coin. And the second – I have enough experience. I have been under sanctions for many years, and even now they say, but I really don't care. Based on my experience: you can do anything with a person in my position only if you steal, you have a lot of money and they are outside the country. I will not name politicians whose money is somewhere offshore; they are very easy to manage. There was no large-scale privatization in Belarus, and when it happens, the head of state and others have the opportunity to earn money. Moreover, as soon as something is "found", I say: well, take it. I have been "giving back" money all the time, since the time of Bush Jr., who was the first to make this statement, but no one has taken it so far.
Lukashenko does not have a tail to be spun round and round. And secondly, I am very devoted to my people and my country. I came to power with the opposition in very difficult times, when nationalism continued its revelry in Belarus. These are the ancestors of those who today make porridge from the inside, on whom external forces within Belarus rely today. Therefore, it is useless to rule Lukashenko – there is nothing to take. I have a little political time left, they probably won't take it, they just won't have enough time. And I'm not going to give up, I won't kneel down, even if I'm alone. Even if I am alone, I will fight for what I have created for a quarter of a century with my own hands.
As for the economy. If everything goes well in our economy, then Belarus will never have internal reasons for revolutions, riots, coups, etc. Perhaps this was my mistake, that I devoted too much time to the economy. They rebuilt the village, industry, modernized enterprises. I saved as best I could, crawled on my knees, asked, only for the sake of the economy. Dragged here some new trends in the economy and in public life. I wanted the Belarusians to never walk in bast shoes and live on this piece of land of theirs, which is allotted to us by the Lord. The cornerstone of our policy. We have never created problems for our neighbors. And not only neighbors but also distant countries where our friends live: Kazakhstan, China, etc. I'm not even talking about Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania. Neighbors are not chosen, so the economy is at the core.
As for nuclear power plants, this is not so much an economic issue as a matter of the future. These are the highest technologies. Can you imagine what layer of the Belarusian people will receive new competencies (this first of all attracted me in the construction of a nuclear power plant)? When we agreed with the President of Russia on the construction of a nuclear power plant, my request was: a Belarusian should stand next to Russian. New technologies: you do, we look, we help, we do together with you. And second: so that tomorrow we can build these stations with the Russians around the world. Which is what we are doing, by the way. Four or six blocks that Russia is building today – Belarusians work there. This was the main thing. We have enough electricity from the stations that we have. We do not need additional electricity in the next year or two with such development, and maybe even for a five-year period. But the nuclear power plant is much more efficient, it provides cheaper electricity. And what is important for us and for Europe is clean energy.
We solved nuclear power plants and other tasks together with Russia. Lukashenkо never turned his back on Russia. I am a Soviet person. I was 39 years old when I met Yeltsin. I said to him: "I want you to understand that I have not come to a foreign Russia. This is my Russia. And I arrived in the capital of my homeland - in Moscow." Since then, it was clear to me and Boris Yeltsin in which direction our cooperation would go. And we did a lot at that kink. Since then Belarus has never turned away from Russia.
I often say that I am a country person. We have never had a person twirling here and there. I have never done this; it was done by some media in the Russian Federation. But Lukashenko used to be in some relation to Russia and remains in them. I have never betrayed the Belarusian-Russian interests. I have never betrayed either Yeltsin or Putin, and I never will. I will always say directly and openly about what I will do. I will not play and lie. I know what the Russian media are trying to do now, therefore, I am telling you first: don’t even think that today's leadership is aimed at betraying Russia, at changing its course towards some countries. This is not and never will be. Even if these "protestors" come to power, the people will not allow them to change politics. If they expect that the tanks, which more and more appear on our western borders, will be drawn into Belarus and Belarus can be swallowed at their call, they will fail. The Belarusian people will not allow them to do this.
We will cope with these protests, but how can the economy be preserved against the background of Covid when all countries have closed down? And we have an export-oriented republic. We sell almost 70% of our production. We need 30-40% of everything we produce. And BelAZ is among the top three heavy trucks (KamAZ, Caterpillar, BelAZ). We practically don't make a single car for ourselves. In the Soviet Union, it was created in order to serve the entire USSR and sell for export. We sell to Kazakhstan, to Russia, to China, to Africa. The main thing for us is to keep the economy, because the economy is people's lives, and if there is a more or less normal situation in the economy, then salaries and pensions will remain at least at this level. Although the real incomes of the population in our country last year increased, taking into account inflation, by about 7%, and this year - 4.5%, growth. We have not collapsed wages, pensions, social support for people. Not easy. We have an unprecedented harvest. And they prepared buckwheat, and sugar is a good harvest. We have a contract even with Ukraine, which have always produced sugar in abundance. Despite the fact that Zelensky spoke in support of democracy and so on, the Ukrainians arrived – a thousand trucks. I said: the people are not guilty of anything - load and take out. All the potatoes were taken out: St. Petersburg, Moscow, with the exception of those stabilization funds that we had to leave.
The main thing for us is to keep the economy. But this is not easy: they try to grab and shake every fact here in a new way. We need some capacious events to support the protest moods and hold out until spring, as they plan. But we will clean them out, we will find them all, we know them all. I didn't think anarchists were such militants. Four people were detained near the Ukrainian border, and the Ukrainian border guards are great. They found a huge cache where the grenade launchers were already lying. And the media gave it out. And these four anarchists, who were hiding in Ukraine, came over to us, and we detained them. They set fire to several buildings and cars. We see who today is trying to play on the radicalization of what is happening in Belarus. It's not about the internal situation. We are shaken from all sides. I say Poland. And we know who is in these centers: Americans, to a single person. And, unfortunately, they created a second center in Ukraine to work against Belarus. We see it, this center.
Elections were held in Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, the United States, and there were riots and protests everywhere. What's going on in this world?
In the middle of last year, our intelligence prepared a big analytical report for me on how the world will develop with the advent of the Internet, and what this can lead to. One of the conclusions is that our technologies are now so advanced that with their help specialists can even get into people's brains. I made a conclusion for myself: you need powerful immunity. And I thought that I would not have enough time before our political events. It seems to me that people went crazy and crazy because some were interested in getting into the brains, souls, and hearts of people. They succeeded, and this is especially evident in the example of Belarus.
One of the Ukrainian bloggers came to Minsk, rented an apartment, and settled in on the eve of Sunday. And all Sunday he watched this crowd gather. And he wrote that he was amazed that it was from this area, where luxurious apartments, that wealthy people came out to these protests. He was outraged by this and wrote: " self-indulge." Belarusians do not know how others live after the color revolutions. There was this conclusion. Nothing foreshadowed the beginning of these events in Belarus. Yes, they worked on the quiet, they created cells at enterprises, especially state ones. We still have huge state-owned companies, where 20,000-25,000 people work: MAZ, BelAZ, MTZ, etc. And we managed to modernize them. First of all, they began to stagger. These cells, 3-5 people each, got into our scientific and practical centers, medical. And we have medicine, God forbid, that in every state there was such. There was no reason for this. There were never 100,000-300,000 of them on the street, as they wrote on the Internet. At their peak, when they allegedly filled the whole of Minsk, there were 47,600 of them, not 300,000. They superimposed a picture on a picture and got a large number and an impressive picture. Everything is done by specialists to control a person on the subconscious. All this was probably based on the development of American specialists.
And when I saw the election campaign in the United States, I said to the President of Russia: well, that's right. They always and everywhere interfered in elections and received the result of their developments and developments. Kazakhstan, like the rest, should never relax - Belarus is a lesson for you. Kazakhstan and Russia are huge countries, and it will be difficult to cope with this infection there if we do not work proactively. And for Russia, Belarusian channels of the same name have already been created, which began to unfold against Russia. Next year you have parliamentary elections, and this will be a rehearsal. And by the 24th year, if we do not find a counteraction and antidote to this, and yours is even faster, you will drink everything that we drink today to the dregs.
And a pandemic is an even greater psychosis, panic. But I spoke about this at the beginning of this year, when there was the first wave of the coronavirus, and they said about me that I was unreasonable, that I was killing my people. This was picked up in other countries, including friendly ones. We were forced to send a group of journalists from Russia from here because we know what tasks were assigned to them and how it was necessary to criticize the Belarusian experience. And during the second wave, it turned out that the Belarusians were right. And we went alone. We just have a powerful health care system since Soviet times, including in terms of infectious diseases. Infectious diseases hospitals were closed everywhere, including in Russia, especially under Yeltsin, when everything was oriented towards Western standards. And in our country not a single infectious diseases hospital, even a district one, was closed. Moreover, we raised them, restored them.
We had our own system for fighting Covid. We chose the most difficult path: when we discovered the hearth, we immediately isolated it and everything around the hearth. We had people isolated on receipt, and the police with doctors controlled that the person did not go anywhere. The patients were in hospitals, and the contacts were in sanatoriums or at home. We had a three-tier system that we are trying to use now, although we have many more test patients. We have not yet reached the peak, which was during the first wave of morbidity, but close to it. But this is not the main thing. The main thing is how many cases of Covid pneumonia you have, how many severe ones, and how many are on mechanical ventilation. And the number of cases depends on how many tests you have done. And we do three times more tests than during the first wave. And most importantly, doctors must treat the sick. They should not be distracted by the management of the country during this period. They should not open, close universities, enterprises – this is the business of the authorities. I am convinced that with this virus, like with the previous ones, we will have to live.
We are criticized that the statistics are wrong. It's not about statistics, it's about how you heal and how you save lives. We are focused on saving people, even if it is impossible so that people survive. I have had it, I saw and see what people die from. I myself was immersed in the organization of this process. Everyone looked at Belarus, criticized, and I invited the WHO group. They looked, threw up their hands, and said: yes, we do not have this in Europe. The head of the WHO told me about this in a personal conversation. And now there was a statement not to close schools in any way. And we did not close it, because we analyzed it and saw that if the child got sick, then we will not see this Covid. I passed it, my family passed it, drew appropriate conclusions, and tried to advise our people. And he plunged the entire leadership of the country into the fight against the Covid so much that they forgot about politics altogether. They were not campaigning. We thought, well, people will not support, or what?
And then the people who were financed from abroad began to stir. We suspected Russia of one of the directions of the struggle against us. How else: Gazprombank. People were detained at this bank, including an American. We concluded that Russia probably wanted to shake, tilt Lukashenko a little. And during the election campaign, when I saw a different direction – Tikhanovskys and others – then I said that an interesting thing could happen in our country when a pro-Western opposition could come to power with Russian money, Gazprom's. This was the situation at the time. We have completely avoided political issues. And what kind of president leaves politics when he has presidential elections tomorrow? Biden and Trump were campaigning and not dealing with the country, and I immersed the whole country because of Covid in treating people. That's why I got it. This mess fell upon people. The person did not find a way to protect against this, and he did not have immunity.
In this regard, there are a lot of problems in Kazakhstan, and in Ukraine, and I'm not talking about Moldova, which is going through the same period that we have gone through. You came to Minsk during an acute period, did you notice something revolutionary? This is our revolution with certain peculiarities. We do not relax, and the fact that you do not notice it costs us dearly - both in terms of human resources and financial resources. We just got used to living in a quiet, calm, clean city, therefore, if the "protestors" walked there, broke it, crumbled it, everything was cleaned by morning. I'm sure this is just the beginning; you will remember my words in six months or in a year.