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Information Minister: Belarus will always send messages of peace and good

Lilia Ananich, Information Minister of Belarus, is in our studio. You have just returned from the information center.  Tell me, how events were unfolding, were there lots of violations, vulgarity, rudeness? Something that is unusual for the press.    

Lilia Ananich, Minister of Information of the Republic of Belarus:
I would like to congratulate everyone on the fact that the elections took place in Belarus.  The atmosphere at the Information Center suggests that there is great interest in our country and the 2015 presidential election. Information space did much to ensure that the elections be ruled valid. Of course, every media outlet served a particular editorial policy. There were of course violations of the law but the basic background of the national information space aimed at making this election transparent. All citizens of our country could make their impression about the candidates' programs. Media did not miss a single aspect of this election campaign. And it is very important today to show not only the beauty of Belarus but also Belarusians' interest in casting vote for their country's future. Today on election day, 540 foreign journalists from 30 countries are working in Belarus. All in all, 940 journalists are covering the election campaign. 

One of opposition activists offended Belarusians saying: "People have TVs on their shoulders rather than heads." He was referring to the fact that the media, probably, instilled something in people. But I think we in Belarus have different media. There are both state and non-state media.  How did media influence the choice of the electorate?  

Lilia Ananich:
I think the time of the election campaign was not enough to influence their mind. It was our lives and Belarusian reality that affected the choice of the electorate. Over the last 20 years, dramatic changes have taken place in Belarus. We have built the main thing - a sovereign state, the Republic of Belarus. This massive volume of information came to Belarusians' homes and it affected people's choice.

While you were on your way to us, we watched a few excerpts from interviews, given by our colleagues, journalists, representatives of Ukrainian, Polish, and Cuban media. In the same studio we once discussed that journalists who receive an editorial task will not write well even if they see opposite things. You worked and interacted with journalists who came to visit us and cover the elections. What can you say about their mood? 

Lilia Ananich:
There are impressions of journalists as persons, and they are all positive. They all admire what is happening in Belarus. But no one cancels the editorial policy of each edition. If someone came to see some negative things and write about it to the whole world, Belarusians will not suffer from it. Our information space dominates in the formation of public opinion. And this is also a feature of the national information space. 

Look how many journalists we have! Have elections in Belarus always attracted so many journalists?                   

Lilia Ananich:
I think that journalists will be coming to Belarus since it is in the midst of European events; it has become a platform of peace and creation. Belarus is creating not only its own fate but the fate of the whole world. Belarus confirmed: a message of peace and good will come from here. And this is the main thing we are giving to this world.

Thank you, Mrs Ananich. Thank you for coming to our studio.