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Mikhail Gusman: Alexander Lukashenko is ideal person for interviewing

Mikhail Gusman is a famous media figure. He interviewed President Lukashenko many times before. However, this time it was him who was interviewed.

Last year the Congress of the Russian Press was hosted by Paris. Minsk hosts the forum for the second time. Why did you choose this platform?

Mikhail Gusman, First Deputy Director General of TASS:
I cannot say that it is a platform. It is holy land to which you want to return. What is more, Belarus has brilliant traditions of the Russian press. Belarus has always respected the Russian language, which is said by Alexander Lukashenko, to the Russian media. The next congress will be held in New York, in Brooklyn. We are here because I had a chance to tell Alexander Lukashenko about our plans; it was a bit more than one year ago. And I said that we have more and more people who would want to perform in Belarus. It is very touching. The congress here in Minsk is popular, representatives of more than 50 countries and directors of Russian media have gathered here. As a rule, these people are selfless; they do their work to preserve the Russian language and culture. It is a group of people, of friends, who give their time and talent, their possibilities for preserving the Russian media, the Russian language as an international communication, as a language of motherland.

It is a pleasure that Minsk occupies such an honorable place between Paris and New York.

Mikhail Gusman:
The most honorable place.

The summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly has just finished in Minsk. Do you think that it is a trend for Belarus to host such events, concerning European security in Belarus?

Mikhail Gusman:
It is a borderline of high politics. Many factors play their role. My comment would be too long for your program. However, in my opinion, thanks to the well-organized external policy of Belarus, the President of the Republic and the Foreign Ministry, the external European vector is improving. From the one side Belarus and Russia are a Union State. On the other hand, the European vector is beneficial for Belarus. Belarus is the center of Europe.

If to return back to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, one of the intrigues was the resolution against Russia, Belarus and Azerbaijan. Fortunately, it was voted down. Does it mean that the West let our countries follow our own way rather than the western model?

Mikhail Gusman:
I think that Belarus, Russia and Azerbaijan will follow their own way no matter what. And no resolutions will have an influence. On the other hand it will be useful for them to other opinions; they mustn’t be resented straight away. They can agree, dispute and prove their positions. Politicians, cultural workers from many countries came to Belarus. Does it mean that they see the image of Belarus with their own eyes? Mikhail Gusman: Surely. The fact that Alexander Lukashenko conducts an open policy proves the fact. He tells people to see everything with their own eyes that they will like some things and they will not like something as well. He tells to talk to the people and then everything will become clear. This is the wisdom of an open policy.

You have interviewed more than 350 officials, it is remarkable. What place does President Lukashenko occupy among those interviews? As far as I know you have warm relations.

Mikhail Gusman:
It would be too brave for me to say that I have such warm relations with the President. He is the President and I am a journalist. However, the fact that Alexander Lukashenko gave an interview to me twice and I had a possibility to talk to him, it was a very interesting conversation. It seems that as President, Alexander Lukashenko is an ideal person for interviewing. He has an unimaginable charisma, he is frank with the people he talks to and at the same time he is very convincing. It was a unique story for the first time. President Lukashenko invited me to his residence and we were cutting grass there. It was not done on purpose. It turned out that he does it every week, which is not easy. I was involved into the process together with my friends and colleagues. I told him before that, I thought that I can’t do anything with my hands. My wife is very grateful to him. When I refuse to do something she always reminds me of what President Lukashenko taught me to do.

What do you like most of all in Belarus? May be there is something you must buy or visit when you are here?

Mikhail Gusman:
I do not know as for things to try or to visit, but most of all I like Belarusian women.

What is closer to you, to give or to give an interview?

Mikhail Gusman:
You know. To take an interview is a profession, to give one is pleasure. One should get pleasure from the job he is doing.

Thank you for giving the interview.

Mikhail Gusman:
Thank you.

Mikhail Gusman: Alexander Lukashenko is ideal person for interviewing