Let's start with the main events of the week in which the Belarus President took part. The topic of security and the ability of Belarus to defend its borders has always been one of the most important. Moreover, it is important today in light of the events that are unfolding in the neighboring countries.
Alexander Lukashenko this week visited the 120th mechanized brigade, an elite unit in which the President himself once served.
Thousands of hectares of two military camps, barracks, warehouses, and a firing range.
Teaching methods are developing over time and now soldiers can practice in virtual world rather than at the firing range.
This year, three barracks were renovated. Simple but comfortable conditions for guards are now provided.
The President, as often happens, deviated from the planned route. He went to the unit's medical service. Here it was all equipped at the level of a city polyclinic. There is a hospital with 30 beds too. A healthy diet is important and in this unit a team of 14 cooks every day feed about a thousand soldiers.
Not far from the barracks is a firing range where the elite of the Armed Forces of Belarus is learning to operate in combat conditions. Here are the samples of the latest military technologies. This anti-aircraft gun is capable of firing at air and ground targets. It rotates 360 degrees.
We need such things. As you can see they are used everywhere.
Andrei Ravkov, Defense Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
Current conflicts show their necessity.
Next up are devices that replace several scouts and an impressive arsenal. The President suddenly sees a soldier with a grenade launcher.
Here it is. This is my first weapon. I was a grenadier during the military service. And then I was given a rifle.
Then the President took part in the officers' assembly, which is traditionally held before the start of the school year in the Armed Forces.
Today we are witnessing the same situation and the deregulation of the situation. The Soviet Union has disappeared. All this was happening in front of our eyes, we knew it, we see it. And I remember here in this room, just a year after my election as president in the mid-90s, I, on behalf of you, said that we need to be ready to defend the country, we stated about the unacceptability of violations of international law and NATO's eastwards expansion. We were the first to start talking about it. And what do we see 20 years later? We knew back in the mid-90s that it would happen. And this system of checks and balances has lost its balance. And it would not be desirable for a new security system in the world to emerge from carnage. Since this will not be the massacre we saw in the middle of the last century. But it will be a war involving nuclear weapons. We absolutely do not need it. No one on the planet does.
The war in Syria, the Ukrainian conflict, the situation in Afghanistan, in the Caucasus, and the unrest in Moldova. Hot spots formed a belt of instability. To understand the true causes of the situation - that's what it means to be truly armed.
In fact, for the first time in the post-Soviet space there is a conflict that, without exaggeration, directly affects the security of Belarus. In these circumstances, it is imperative for us to maintain the balance of relations with Moscow and Kiev we achieved on the political and diplomatic level. Whatever the situation, we should not be drawn into their conflict. And I promise you that I will make every effort to preserve those relations, primarily on the basis of our national interests. The continued commitment of the United States and its allies to consolidate its leading role in the modern world order destabilizes security in Europe. It is in this context that we should consider the progressive militarization of the region.
The Belarusian economy is one of the most open in the world, because it's sensitive to shocks on all fronts, including information and financial shocks.
We are in a difficult situation, therefore we will not be able to substitute the real work in the economy with some reforms, including those of the radical nature. These reforms are absolutely unacceptable, especially in the crisis period. We need to firmly understand: the essence of a reform today is to produce a quality product and sell it for good money.
[In the military and industrial complex], we need to focus primarily on our own production, modernization and repair of existing resources. It is unclear, for example, why we buy the same vests in Russia if we can make them at home. There is also information about the planned supply of drones and armored vehicles from China. Perhaps the quality of our defense sector still falls short of global brands but the cost is a bit higher than that of foreign products. So we must work together to bring local products to the required quality.
But before going back to the office, the officers presented the Commander a gift - the legendary pistol. And, of course, congratulated him on the presidential election.
When I congratulated on a victory, I ask, "What victory? "This is our common victory. And, you know, that it is you who held the election, not me. I said that I would not hold the elections. After all, what will I tell the people? Do they see me for the first time? Or is it the second election campaign? We have been working together 20 years. So I said: "This is your election, you have to prove you worth, you, chairmen of executive committees, village councils and people in uniform." And you have proved your worth. Therefore, this is your victory, it is not mine. And you must understand that you can't revel and rejoice in this victory. We must pay attention to what people are unhappy with because people have lots of of expectations. We spoiled our people a bit because they did not go through what other post-Soviet republics went through. Russia went through war. Then Ukraine. And only we survived. This is what must be preserved and it depends on us.