Once again attention is being paid to the meeting which was held by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who openly assessed the present relations of Belarus and Russia. Problems do exist, it's not a secret. The background is evident. Belarus has its own model of development and independent policy. It is one of the reasons of misunderstandings. Many authoritative figures recognize the originality and success of the Belarusian development model. For instance, Professor Alexander Zapesotsky, Doctor of Science(Cultural Studies) , corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Rector of Saint-Petersburg University of the Humanities and Social Sciences and, by the way, an editor-at large of the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid. Alexander Zapesotsky took part in the TV program Simple Questions with Egor Khrustalev.
Quite often we speak about us trying to preserve or take the most precious things from our Soviet past, and at the same time we try to adapt to the wild capitalism. Critics of this way say that it all slows down the entire history, there is no onward movement, but there is no sliding down the hill as well. What are your views on this way of development?
Alexander Zapesotsky, Rector of Saint-Petersburg University of the Humanities and Social Sciences:
You know, I like the things that are happening in Belarus. I see the difficulties of life, how uneasy things are, I see the pressure which comes under Belarus President, the acts of provocation, the intrigues, how efforts are made to embroil Belarus and Russia, and how mass media dishonestly covers the news in Belarus. I feel worried when some kind of complicated things happen around in Belarus. I feel worried because Belarus has a very interesting development model which exists in spite of all those wild laws.
Can this model be called a chance pattern? A chance pattern based on a man of character. If not for one man, none of this would have happened.
A chance pattern is an indirect form of regularity. This regularity is closely connected with the leader’s identity. If I stepped aside 15 years ago, you would now even in Belarus see a university selling diplomas. We are hated by many people, just as Belarus is hated for not allowing others to split up its economic system. Does the Belarusian development model have a future? I suppose that a lot depends on the subjective factor. Take China as an example, how successfully they combine the advantages of operating the governmental economic system and at the same time activate the mechanisms of market grouping. It is not an easy task. Western countries today are looking at what they can adopt from China’s example. I have been to Belarus many times and I spoke to people. Belarusians value those things which were saved, people understand under what difficult conditions Belarus is developing.