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Alexander Lukashenko: Whatever views you have you can create and express your point of view in Belarus

The important and welcome news was the Nobel Prize in Literature for Belarusian writer Svetlana Aleksievich.

Svetlana Aleksievich, winner of Nobel Prize 2015 in Literature:
[they asked me] where I am from. I said Belarus. So they said: "Oh, Lukashenko, Domracheva."
I would like Belarusians to be proud of themselves, because I was not alone doing it. These are my heroes, parents, grandfather, great-grandfather, who studied with Yakub Kolas. This is the accumulation of humanities.

However, various forces used this event for their own purposes.  For example, some Russian media presented the news as follows: for the first time in ten years, the Nobel Prize has been received by a Russian-language writer. And not a word about Belarus.

Others were quick to announce that the President of Belarus did not congratulate Aleksievich. But they were mistaken because Alexander Lukashenko sincerely and officially congratulated the writer and wished her success and literary victories. Then some media wrote: the Belarusian President wished new creative achievements to the writer who has repeatedly criticized his rule.

To dispel these ideas and leave no chances for speculation, the head of state publicly commented on the success of the Belarusian writer.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
I'm happy for her, because she is a citizen of Belarus. This means that no matter what position you have, it is still possible to work and create, write and to express views in Belarus. I do not think she is a big opposition figure. She wrote normal works and has the appropriate style - in the first person, if I'm not mistaken. She was looking for people, she collected money and went to Afghanistan. She stayed there for a while and then wrote, of course she was biased because she took people who saw something bad and saw dead men. But this is the point of view of particular individuals. What opposition elements do you see here? This is her form, her style. I have nothing against that.
And take her works "War Does Not Have a Woman's Face" and her famous essay, "Zinc-Covered Boys" and so on - they were in general supported by the Soviet government. This is a unique style of presentation, but it's reality. It is important that our Belarusian won the Nobel Prize in Literature for the first time since the end of the Soviet era. The main thing now is how you will dispose of this baggage. If you are a citizen of Belarus who raised high, let's see how you will use this baggage for the benefit of your people. That is what is important today.

Alexander Lukashenko: Whatever views you have you can create and express your point of view in Belarus