The world community is still analyzing and citing the speech of Donald Trump during the inauguration. Two simple rules were named by the new US president: buy American and employ Americans! And we immediately remember our long-standing principle "Buy Belarusian products!" The second part is not so relevant for our country - no immigrants deprive Belarusians of jobs. But we still need to create new jobs.
Without innovation and progressive ideas no one can count on the staff of life today; it is science that determines the improvement of people's lives, said Alexander Lukashenko awarding diplomas of Doctor of Science and professor certificates. The President touched on many topics recalling his student triangular boxes of milk, and current meat and dairy success of Belarus, about which even Africa knows. Evgeny Pustovoy about big problems, great and small discoveries, interesting characters, and important statements.
The invited guests are examining pictures from around the world in the lobby of the Palace of Independence. They are scientists, after all. They are attentive to every detail. Just the same amount of attention was needed to select people to be invited to the meeting with the President to discuss the scientific development of Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
Science is often compared to an ocean - the elements, largely unexplored, but which opens to man thousands of possibilities. Advanced developments open the way to the growth of our well-being and intellectual development of the nation. They determine the level of economic competitiveness in the international arena, in fact, guarantee its political weight in the world. In such young, rapidly developing countries like Belarus, science should also serve as a pillar of the state ideology.
Science determines the quality of economy and well-being determines the power of state sovereignty.
The main direction of our struggle for independence passes through economy. Not in the military sphere, not in political. In economy. And science here is the main component. So please expect a very serious pressure on my part in terms of science.
Belarus has no "hydrocarbon shield", and the export-oriented economy is open to trade and problems of the nearest geographical partner - Russia. Therefore, Belarus, not drifting in the ocean geo-political temptations, is seeking new shores to moor in the new lands with its baggage of scientific knowledge and manufacturing capabilities.
Now some are discussing why I went to Egypt and Sudan. None of those who went there with me was able to answer these people convincingly why we went there. Fortunately they caught my words that the future in the world belongs to Africa. We go there because there is a great piece of work for us there. We have good technologies that they need for life, in order to save 30 million people in Sudan and 95 million in Egypt. It's a huge market. They need everything from greenhouses to cattle-breeding complexes. We know how to make this. And we will make from our material.
The President paid attention to difficulties in attracting youth to science. Belarus is trying to create suitable conditions so that talented scientists don't leave Belarus and work here.
We have created many opportunities for success at any age. It is only necessary to add work and talent. We have done a lot. But our technical and natural research is still mostly theoretical. Scientists must target the most popular topics and trends. The best developments should serve people rather than gather dust on the shelves.
The President has drawn attention to the fashion trend - environment in tandem with economy.
Lukashenko-President knows what live of young scientists is, and Lukashenko-student (with diploma with honors, by the way) remembers that he decided not to choose science as his future career just because of routine life.
It was so hard to study. I had to go to my mother and something else to do... To wash and cook. My allowance was not high, though I received some bonuses. I could buy a box of milk (remember those triangular packs?) and a fresh loaf of bread. That was my dinner. A lunch in a student dining room. I was the chief editor of the university newspaper "For the Leninist cadres", it was popular, critical. I had to get up early, I went to school on foot, I was a village lad. I had to go to the Lenin Library for four hours, sometimes five hours, every day. I remember coming home late, at 9 pm.
Science attracts romantics, but even they want good salaries. The welfare scientists determines the thickness of purses of every Belarusian. The Belarus President once again repeated that he wants a $500 salary for all Belarusians, not a kopeck less.
We don't have a disaster here, we can earn money. My role in this is to spur the government and others, we need to improve the standard of living. A $500 average salary is not a sky-high figure. There are a lot of skeptics in the government, with large portfolios, who say: "The president said but it's impossible." If it is not possible, please retire. This is not populism, this is the life of our people.
The socially oriented Belarus is not a scientific laboratory, in which you can experiment. The system has already established itself. Considerable attention is given to medicine. For example, the national scientific and practical center "Cardiology" annually saves lives and significantly improves the quality of life. Over ten years, it has cured more than 50,000 patients. For comparison, it is the population of such a town as Kobrin.
Olga Sudzhayeva, Cardiology center:
Each of us, each employee has their own patients. You remember many of them. You can't remain indifferent to their fate.
Belarusians have got accustomed to, by and large, free medical care, education and a small utility bills.
I can give you $1,000 tomorrow, but then you will need to pay for everything, including schools, like in the West. The IMF requires me to increase utility tariffs so that people pay100% of their self-cost and they promise $3 billion or even $5 billion. I try to explain to them that they are right, but this right should not be done immediately, because we will have the same things as in Ukraine. Some "experts" sitting in the kitchen, with loud names, allege that we need systemic reforms. I ask them to tell me what they systemic reforms they need. The answer is simple. And then everything becomes clear. We must immediately sell public enterprises into private hands. But we, the people who sell property, we need to be sure that the new owner does not offend people and manages these enterprises in the right way.
The President also asked to preserve fundamental science, but above all to develop applied sciences.
The Academy of Sciences must be made public? Should we let them gather in this club and assign themselves any titles they want? I realized that it should be stopped. We had to stand on the foundation that we had back then and continue to evolve and improve. And we followed that path.
With this wise approach, Belarus has preserved science and developed it. Now we need to be able to wait for results.
Yes, we all can do it. Our people, if you put a specific task, can do whatever you want. We are not a banana republic, we have a high-tech country. Today we can do everything.