You are here

Potential of Belarus' and Russia's domestic tourism is immense, Russian Culture Minister says

The CTV channel has talked with Minister of Culture of Russia at the 3rd Forum of Belarusian and Russian Regions, held in Minsk this week. Vladimir Medinsky recalled his holidays in Belarus seven years ago.  We tried to ask about the possible exchange of Shishkin originals for Slutsk belts. However, the minister skillfully ducked the answer saying that this is a complex issue and requires elaboration.

Why are you embarrassed to go to Egypt?

Vladimir Medinsky, Minister of Culture of Russian Federation:
I think that only 0.01% of the potential of Russia and Belarus tourism has been explored. 7-8 years ago, I visited Belarus as a tourist by car. I drove throughout literally the entire Belarus in a car. And, you know, this is one of the most pleasant experiences though I have been to a number of places on our planet. The same goes for Russia. I have tried to avoid going abroad for holidays over the last few years. Our own country is immense.

You and your ministry recommended schools a list of a hundred Soviet films, which include Belarusfilm movies...

Vladimir Medinsky:
Yes, they could be included in the school curriculum. We, together with film critics, once picked 100 films which an educated man must watch. There are Soviet and Belarusian movies there. In general, Russia and Belarus have a huge potential of cooperation in the cinema area. We now have two projects under consideration. One of them is about the Soviet diplomat Gromyko. We must take that project seriously.

Gromyko is from Belarus, right.

Vladimir Medinsky:
Yes, from the village, called Bolshyye Gromyki, Malyye Gromyki. You know that Gromyko is not only a man, he is an epoch. He is probably a symbol of the world of diplomacy. He had been in minister's office for 30 years.

You said today that you are a bit envious of the history of Belarus. What do you mean?

Vladimir Medinsky:
You know, I as a historian I envy the fact that Belarus had not pushed to such extremes as Russia. We can learn some things from Belarus. In Belarus, the last 20-25 years of history have been inseparable. No one has renounced the Soviet past, the great imperial history or the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. History has been seen as one chain. Such respect for the works of your own ancestors is a very wise historical approach.

No blood has been shed in the post-Soviet history of Belarus. Does this have something to do with that, as you said, ‘wise historical approach’?

Vladimir Medinsky:
Yes, I think these things are interconnected. An attempt to stigmatize someone is not always fight against the past. It's a fight against the present. This always means a split of a nation. We need to understand why the country split back then and not allow this repeat today. Here are the conclusions that we must draw. 

Potential of Belarus' and Russia's domestic tourism is immense, Russian Culture Minister says