Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Lukashenka to MPs: We arent sitting on two chairs, but flying on one wing!

belsat.eu, via BelTA

Lukashenka to MPs: We arent sitting on two chairs, but flying on one wing!
Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka adressed outgoing, newly- and re-elected Belarusian MPs on Friday. Belsat TV has picked out the most interesting moments of today speech.

Recent parliamentary elections

They say Lukashenka held the elections in order to please the West. The entire Belarusian power vertical and I have done everything to please the West, Americans, and our friends in Russia, China, Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic countries, Asia, Africa Yes, we wanted our elections to be appreciated all over the world. Isnt it a natural wish? Moreover, the economy of the country, the lives of our people depend on it to a certain extent! Yes, we wanted to please certain people, but wanted to do it in a decent way without violating the Constitution.


Reforms

I am ready for any reforms, even the toughest ones, even tougher than the ones demanded by the IMF. The question is whether you are ready for them.I am addressing you, representatives of the people, to ask everyone if they are ready for reforms.


Foreign policy

We must stop thinking along the lines either with us or against us. In foreign policy, given our capabilities and resources, we must act very carefully so as not to make other countries angry, especially neighbors. We will benefit only from a balanced policy. Because we are in the midst of the events that are unfolding around us today. To take up guns and go into the woods to become partisans is not the best thing to do. Thinking that the West is our friends and Russia is an enemy is stupid and short-sighted.


Opposition

I welcome the increasing role of the parties, but this must not be done artificially, through antagonism towards the authorities.

Why did not the opposition win? Why are there so few representatives of the opposition in the parliament? (I will be honest: I would like to have them more just to end up this criticism). The answer is simple: the opposition is too far from the people..

The one, who was closest to these interests, (who is a real oppositionist and not the enemy to anything which is being done in the country) made part of the parliament. What is more, our people do not longer believe those tales about luxurious overseas life.

I wonder if they are ready to take power at all. Do they know what to do with that power? the head of state asked. Believe me, I know them. They do not know what to do. I, as the head of state, cannot give the power away to them. I will act delicately and carefully, in line with our Constitution.


Positive balance in Belarus international relations

I have to admit that in the past we often talked about a multiple-vector policy but in reality weve been flying on one wing. Life demonstrated to us that in a crisis we face excessive risks of being dependent on political moods in the relevant countries. Our task is to secure a real positive balance in relations with all the neighbors as well as all the leading geopolitical centers of power.

We are not trying to sit on two chairs at once as some people claim. We are forced to pursue this policy to avoid offending anyone, to avoid damaging anyones interests, to stay strong and to avoid becoming someone elses province once again.


No sabre-rattling

The Belarusian army is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and is able to fight back any aggressor. In this context, we can be talking about a full modernization of our army that has almost been completed. Now the army is ready for any possible wars, from information warfare to hot war.

We do not want to get involved in any international conflicts. We will not go to fight in Syria: for us it is impossible and not necessary. But we are feeling for the Syrian people, and we will provide whatever assistance we can to the Syrians. We will not be going to Ukraine in tanks. We will go there driving tractors. These are our brothers, this is the Slavonic unity, which nobody shall be allowed to destroy.

We, together with the Russian people, will protect our common Motherland here, in the western direction.