President Lukashenko asks Belarusians to defend independence

Minsk, April 23: President Alexander Lukashenko called on Belarusians to learn from the mistakes of neighbouring countries and defend their independence as the regional situation continues to escalate.

“We must defend the most valuable thing that we have – the independence of Belarus,” Xinhua quoted Lukashenko as saying in his national address in Minsk Tuesday.

“I am speaking to you in this difficult time. The countries around us got in motion. Ukraine is boiling; Russia is rising again. The borders are shifting. For the first time in many years, Europe smells of explosions again,” he said.

“A new epoch is about to begin. And no one knows how it will turn out,” Lukashenko said. Referring to neighbour Ukraine, the Belarusian president claimed that the country had fallen into crisis because of corruption and a weak economy.

He also said that “Ukraine should be united and integral – its people deserve this”, adding that an integrated, sovereign and non- aligned Ukraine is beneficial for Minsk.

“A person who wants to be confident of one’s future has to remember the past and keep the eyes open, learn from one’s mistakes and the mistakes of one’s neighbors,” Lukashenko said.