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Friday, 12 August 2022

Belarus president's fund allocates Br3 million to restore historical monuments

Br3 million has been earmarked from the Fund for the Support of Culture and Art of the President of the Republic of Belarus to restore and renovate objects of historical and cultural importance. This decision was formalized by the resolution signed by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

The money will be used to repair the roof and facades of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Murovanka, Shchuchin District. This restoration project will help preserve this unique architectural monument of world importance and prepare it for the celebration of the 500th anniversary.

The funds will help complete a restoration project in the manor and park ensemble in the agro-town of Zalesye, Smorgon District and in the palace complex in Ruzhany, Pruzhany District, and carry out conservation and restoration works in the manor and park ensemble in the village of Zakozel, Drogichin District and emergency works in the northeastern building of Golshany Castle in Oshmyany District.

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Thursday, 11 August 2022

Lukashenko demands measures in response to Lithuania's seizure of Belarusian stake in Klaipeda port

 We must take measures in response to Lithuania's seizure of our stake in the Klaipeda port, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting convened on 11 August to discuss the steps to set up port facilities for Belarusian export, BelTA has learned.

In addition to the sanctions regarding the transportation of potash fertilizers, Lithuania also actually seized the property of a Belarusian company in Klaipeda. Since 2013 Belaruskali has owned 30% of the shares of the Klaipeda bulk cargo terminal BKT.

"Not only have they imposed illegitimate sanctions. They've also seized our property," Aleksandr Lukashenko addressed the meeting participants.

"They stole from us," Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said.

"This should not go unpunished," the president stressed. “Think of the measures we can take in the near future and in the medium term. No one is allowed to seize our property. It is not enough that they went after our sanatorium that treated Chernobyl cleanup workers [Belarus sanatorium in Latvia's Jurmala was forced to close down due to the sanctions], but they started seizing our property. That's a lot of money. Therefore, we should be taking measures today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow."

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Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Sanctions seen as blessing for Belarusian agriculture

The sanctions have practically not affected agriculture. Taking into account good harvest projections this year, the industry is expected to grow, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 9 August to discuss the functioning of the country's economy under sanctions and measures to overcome them, BelTA has learned.

The head of state stressed the inadmissibility of negative production dynamics in agriculture. "What is unacceptable is the drop in production in agriculture. Not because we pay so much attention to this industry, but because the sanctions have practically not affected it. The sanctions benefit them. Our farmers have a green light in the Russian market. The most marginal market today is the Russian one,” the president said. "For agriculture, the sanctions are a blessing."

At the same time, he stressed the need to increase food supplies to China in order not to lose ground there.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the industry is expected to grow by 4% this year. "The new minister [Igor Brylo] promised it. Everyone in Belarus knows that the agricultural industry is expected to expand by 4% by the end of the year. We are blessed with a wonderful harvest for all kinds of crops this year," the head said.

The agriculture and food minister reported that this year the agricultural industry is facing an ambitious task: to reach $7.8 billion in exports, which will be $1.1 billion more over 2021.

However, the president emphasized that these blissful figures imply value terms. But one should not forget about production in physical terms, simply put, "in pieces". "I demand that, given these high prices, we reach last year's level in terms of physical volumes. Therefore, there is no need twisting things round here... If we sold in pieces, can you imagine how much more money we would earn," the Belarusian leader said.

Agriculture and Food Ministry Igor Brylo reported that today there are practically no stocks in warehouses and that exports are growing. As for the domestic market, volumes targets have been communicated to each region, supplies projections have been approved, and the situation is under control.

Aleksandr Lukashenko inquired about the information that there is a shortage of certain types of goods on the market. The minister admitted that there is a certain problem with tetrapak packaging and so far it has not been possible to replace it in full. "That's the only problem," he said.

In this regard, the president noted that people should get the product to which they are accustomed, albeit in a different packaging: "They do not consume tetrapak. People eat what's packaged in tetrapak. So you should tell people that, indeed, there are problems with tetrapak and that you will sell the same product, only in a different packaging. Igor Brylo in response explained that it takes time to readjust the production lines. "The war is raging. You need to readjust them in a day, overnight!" the head of state insisted.

The minister assured that everything possible will be done to keep the milk volumes in retail chains at previous levels.

Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, in turn, noted that in addition to the packaging issue, there is this thing of surging exports as manufacturers find it more lucrative. Therefore, the situation on the domestic market is being controlled by administrative means. This is especially true for the city of Minsk, which does not have its own raw material zones.

In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the state invested considerable funds in the agricultural industry. Enterprises have cost advantages in a number of areas, and therefore, given the state support, the domestic market should be among the priorities.

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Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Lukashenko expects Belarusian economy to fare well in 2022

In 2022, Belarusian economy should perform no worse than in the previous year, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting of the Council of Ministers held on 9 August to discuss the functioning of the country's economy under sanctions and measures to overcome them, BelTA has learned.

“Today we are having a working meeting of the government. It is an important event, but not an emergency. It is an interim government meeting to take stock of the current situation. I would be happy to see us having a good conversation at the end of the year celebrating the achievements of a relatively small, an average European-size country which managed to withstand an unprecedented and unjustified pressure,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The president recalled the task for the government to secure economic results no worse than in the previous year. “Will we be able to perform at last year's level? After all, the sanctions are unprecedented for our export-oriented economy. After visiting different places and studying various problems, I became convinced that we can do it. Those, who do their best, work well today. Those, who let their hands fall, thinking that it will go away by itself, are wrong, it is not going to be like that. Hard work, seeking new supply chains and consumers of goods is the number one issue today,” the head of state stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the government and ministries are still not working at their full capacity. “That is why we are having an interim government meeting today. At the end of the year we need to hold another government meeting of the same format, chaired by the president, to fully review how the country's economy worked. The major task remains the same – to perform not worse than last year,” the head of state said.

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Monday, 08 August 2022

Lukashenko inspecting Miory Rolling Mill

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko is visiting Miory Rolling Mill on 8 August, BelTA has learned.

The head of state will hear out a report on the state of affairs at the enterprise and the measures taken to ensure its sustainable operation. The president will also see samples of products and the production lines of the sheet rolling shop.

Miory Rolling Mill (Miory Steel brand) is Belarus' only producer of electrolytic tinning tinplate and cold-rolled steel. The mill was officially inaugurated in late 2020. The company can produce up to 150,000 tonnes of tinplate per year. This tinplate is used for packaging in the food, perfumery, paint and varnish industries and other areas.

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Friday, 05 August 2022

Lukashenko urges focus on safekeeping of feed for animal husbandry

Officials will bear the responsibility for safe-keeping of feed for animal husbandry, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during a working trip to Postavy District, Vitebsk Oblast on 5 August, BelTA has learned.

The president warned that Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo, who is a veterinarian by profession, will bear personal responsibility for cases of livestock being fed damaged fodder in the country.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that there are already cases when haylage was incorrectly stocked in the pits and water-damaged by rains.

"Please look into these cases and keep tabs on this matter. After all, we do want to avoid loss of cattle, don't we?" the head of state said addressing Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats.

In this regard the president gave an instruction to Commissioner for the Vitebsk Oblast, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko: "You are responsible for Vitebsk Oblast. What we need is iron discipline! If we need the help of the army, we will involve the army. If we need the help of the police, we will throw all our forces here.”

The head of state drew attention to a number of other shortcomings that he observed locally, including from the helicopter. "There is not a single tractor on the field. There are rolls of straw lying in the places in a field where no one will ever harvest them. Why it wasn't chopped, scattered across the field and plowed? These are elementary things," he said.

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Thursday, 04 August 2022

Belarus to hold talks with Oman on draft visa waiver agreement

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed Decree No.266 to approve a draft intergovernmental agreement between Belarus and the Sultanate of Oman on mutual visa exemption as a basis to hold the corresponding talks, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

In line with the Decree the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been authorized to hold the negotiations on the draft agreement and sign it if the relevant agreements achieved.

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Wednesday, 03 August 2022

New opportunities in Belarus-China cooperation discussed in Minsk

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a working meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to China Yuri Senko in Minsk on 1 August, BelTA has learned.

"You have worked long enough in China to get some impression of what this empire is and to identify some additional opportunities for us in the People's Republic of China," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, special attention should be paid to trade and economic cooperation between the two countries and also to credit and financial interaction. "Here we need to look, taking into account the moment where we still need to step up work in order not to lose the momentum. The dynamics have been good, both in terms of trade and investment. Naturally, in the context of sanctions China can be wary of any steps: they are very careful, cautious people. Nevertheless, it is very good that we have built good relations with the People's Republic of China," the head of state said.

China is traditionally one of the three trading partners of Belarus. In 2021, the trade reached a record $5.9 billion. In January-May, the trade between Belarus and China amounted to almost $2 billion. Belarus' major exports to China are potash fertilizers, food and agricultural products, timber.

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Tuesday, 02 August 2022

Lukashenko dismisses situation with Ukrainian grain ‘as non-issue'

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the Ukrainian grain export deal as he answered journalists' questions, BelTA reports.

"They needed to get out of this situation, in which they themselves got into. They even accused us of it. Well, they met in Istanbul, made a deal and the grain is on its way out. Now they will be able to feed ‘those hungry people in Africa'. Listen, the 20 ships they are talking about will not be enough even for Turkey. Iran is already negotiating with Russia to import grain from the new harvest. It's just games. The media began to spin the famine topic blaming Russia and Belarus for this. When we told them that they were welcome to take it out, they had to act. You will soon see that this topic will go away. It is already gone. Your will see what it was worth. It was a non-issue," the Belarusian leader said.

He called the food deal a way out of the situation created by the United States and its satellites. Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that until recently they tried to play up the topic of Ukrainian grain as the reason for a looming food crisis in Europe and Africa. Yet, even in the best of times, Ukraine accounted only for 1.5% of grain production in the world. "It's very little, an arithmetic error. They accused both us and Russia of being aggressors, of blocking the export of a huge amount of Ukrainian grain, pinning us the blame for looming famine," the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state noted that he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin immediately understood what they were about and responded. “We suggested possible routes for transportation, including the cheapest one through Belarus. ‘But they would not want to ask the dictator for help with grain, would they?" he said.

In turn, Russia also offered options for export through the Black Sea, the president recalled.

As BelTA reported, on 22 July multilateral agreements were signed to ease access to global markets for Russian fertilizer and other products and to allow grain exports from Black Sea ports. The documents signed by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN suggest the export of grain from Ukraine, food products and fertilizers along the Black Sea from three ports, including Odessa. It was reported that the first ship with grain left the port of Odessa on 1 August.

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Monday, 01 August 2022

Lukashenko: Belarus' sovereignty and independence are beyond question

The sovereignty and independence of Belarus are a constant, not up for any discussion, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he announced new appointments in Minsk on 1 August, BelTA has learned.

"The main thing is economy. That's the number one question. If there is a functioning economy, everything else will follow. I would like to note that the sovereignty and independence of Belarus (the West is generating this idea that we are losing our sovereignty and independence by cooperating with Russia) are a constant and I tell you this directly as you are a future representative not only of the Belarusian president in Russia. These things are not something to be discussed," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed, appointing Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Dmitry Krutoi Belarus' ambassador to Russia.

The head of state reiterated that Belarus and Russia are able to build a close union while maintaining sovereignty and independence. "We are quite smart people. The Russian president is an absolutely reasonable person and understands in which direction we should move. Therefore, by preserving the independence of Russia and Belarus, we will build such a union that both federal and confederate states, and, perhaps, even unitary states will be envious of," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

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