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President Lukashenko on decree No3, dialogue between authorities and people and Belarus-Russia relations

While different kinds of managers, politicians and ordinary Belarusians wondered and fantasized and, perhaps, were waiting for the situation to resolve, the President decided not cut the Gordian knot of Decree No3 but gently pulled the necessary strings to untie it. It so happened to the good intentions of decree number 3 - to stimulate those who are out of work, to restore justice in terms of the distribution of social benefits - were not able to live with the current economic reality. And, strictly speaking, the document is not economic or financial. The President said that it first of all carries the ideological and moral aspects. But the President focused not only on decree but also on economic issues the average salary of $500 and the production of quality products, and trade (and, at times, bargaining) with Russia. All this happened during the Thursday meeting the head of state. And this, of course, is the main event of the last days. Yulia Beshanova knows more.

Decree No3 roused, perhaps, the whole of society and caused a wave of discussion and even misunderstandings. Local officials were not able to explain the details of the document, Alexander Lukashenko said reproaching local authorities. The decree will not be cancelled, but amended. The fee from unemployed will not be collected in 2017, the President said.  However, if Belarusians get a job in 2017, their fees will be returned to them. Potential social dependents will be counted again.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Decree number 3 on social dependency is an ideological, moral decree. The state will not get big money from it. The purpose of this decree is to get to work those who should and who can. Each chairman of a district executive committee, heads of administrations of cities and district administrations - it is primarily their job. Governors and the mayor of Minsk need to control it. You should have the lists of these idlers who must be made to work. Don't touch honest people. The lists must be verified.

And another detail - all the money collected from dependents will remain in local budgets and will be used for the needs of children.  However, different approach will be taken with regard to antisocial persons, who do not even want to participate even in the financing of their personal life, let alone the life of the state. President Lukashenko instructed authorities to find job for unemployed by May 1, which is... Labor Day in Belarus.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I've already talked about those who lead an antisocial lifestyle, we have such people (may they not be offended) - drunks, alcoholics, real parasites, as they were called before.  But people who really found themselves in a difficult situation should be accepted and not only by the employment services with their bureaucratic procedures but also by government authorities. Look what this person wants, what he or she can do. But people must understand that they should first of all look for a job for themselves. And we should help them. By May 1, all of them need to have a job.

By the way, the number of registered at the labor exchange has been declining for nine months in a row in Belarus. Belarus has the lowest number unemployed in the former Soviet Union. About 30,000 people are registered as unemployed. At the same time, the employment services state there are 36,000 jobs available.  Naturally, this work should be well-paid.

A lack of understanding of the essence of decree No3 led to people's protests. People required to cancel the decree. Professional fighters for universal happiness use this social resentment to their own benefit. Upon closer examination, they do it for their own gains and ambitions.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Our Maidan-infected went to Kiev to look for the same Maidan-infected organizers. You know that these people will be cannon fodder. They do not go there with political slogans. A 300-400 people headed by our thugs, who traveled to Kiev, they will provoke. They will find 10-20 professionals who opened fire in Kiev. When blood is spilled, then we are all in trouble. Therefore, we must work to prevent this. I say this publicly. And if those whom we released from prison don't understand this, they should be returned there.

Problems need to be resolved in an open dialogue between the authorities and people. To this end, officials at all levels need to stop burying their head in the sand and go out to the people. The basis of communication is mutual respect and observance of rules of the game.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We are not against such marches and demonstrations. People need some places to express their views like in the developed countries of the West. Let them come there and express their opinions. And if they called their chief there, he must be there. But God forbid someone offends this chief. The police must notice this and take the most severe measures. We must learn to engage in dialogue with the people, but there must be a most severe responsibility for violations. Curb every attempt. It does not apply to people who want to draw attention to themselves and are caught in a difficult life situation.

We need to identify these provocateurs. And they need to be held accountable. Maidan in Belarus will not take place. Stop thinking about it and talking about this stuff. There are no prerequisites for this.

A black cat ran between old partners and allies - Minsk and the Kremlin. Crises between the two countries occurred in the past too. But for the first time did contradictions become so confusing. The most long-running issue is the dispute about energy prices. Alexander Lukashenko insists that because of decreased oil prices the cost of gas for Belarus should be lower than in 2016. Lack of understanding of the long-term partner for Belarus resulted in a debt. Now we are talking about $550 million.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We are already frightened that we would buy natural gas at European prices. But Medvedev has to understand that if we pay the same price as Europe, he will have to pay for something too. And the price will be incredibly higher than the price of natural gas. It seemed to me that our relationship with Russia is not accounting. They are based on something more. And to evaluate these relationships, it is necessary to delve into the past, into the middle of the 20th century, when we lost a third of the population [in WWII - note by ctv.by]. And if someone wants to escalate the situation and once again reproach us instead of addressing the issue, this will not work.

The rhetoric of the recent meeting of the two Prime Ministers in Bishkek was very tough. Moscow emphasizes there is nothing personal - just business. Dmitry Medvedev transparently hinted that nobody makes Belarus be part of the Eurasian Economic Union. This is despite the fact that the Eurasian Economic Union was created on partnership terms. But the Kremlin has apparently forgotten about this.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We need the leadership of brotherly Russia to fulfill its obligations. According to the content and spirit. Second. If we are building our union - we once planned to build a single state - then our people and businesses should have a level playing field in this market. This is all we want. If some smart people out there think they can offend us all the time, they are mistaken.

President Lukashenko on decree No3, dialogue between authorities and people and Belarus-Russia relations