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Lukashenko cites accomplishments in response to criticism of current government

BREST, 22 June (BelTA) – Belarus has made a huge step forward in various areas since the country became independent. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with top Brest Oblast officials and executives in Brest on 22 June, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “They say that big things can be properly appreciated only from some distance away. They are right. In the years of sovereign development we've made a huge step forward in the manufacturing sector, agriculture, technologies, and social sphere. It is particularly noticeable in Brest Oblast. Some locals are now casting aspersions on those accomplishments, talk about lost years. They claim the current government has led the country into a dead end, that there are problems everywhere. You should be understanding about it. Maybe even calm. It is only natural, a political fight is in progress. But numbers cannot lie. And they vividly testify to the contrary.”

Speaking about the development of the region in the past years, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the industrial output had increased by 5.5 times, with merchandise export up by nearly 7 times to $2.6 billion. Absolutely new major enterprises were built in fish industry, dairy industry, and chemical industry. Woodworking industry received an additional impulse. “Many of those enterprises are privately owned,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled his visit to the Baranovichi-based cotton yarn manufacturer Blakit during his early presidential years. Over 9,000 employees of the company had no salaries back then. “It was one of the first enterprises I'd visited. Primarily because it was a women's enterprise. It was a double catastrophe for me that women could not feed their kids. No raw materials meant no work. I had to promptly resolve the problem with our Uzbekistani friends, who supplied cotton to us. The current situation at the enterprise may not be ideal but it is totally different,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. In particular, equipment has been renewed with assistance of the government. The company has also mastered technologies for digital printing on cotton cloth.

“The aircraft repair factory in Baranovichi is one of the best enterprises of ours. If it didn't have problems with Russia, which makes the company's life difficult from time to time with regard to deliveries of components for repairs and the modernization of aerial units, the company would live quite well. The factory fulfils most complicated orders for the army and civilian customers. And there is already a line of foreign customers waiting for their orders to be fulfilled,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

Social parameters of regional development are as important, Aleksandr Lukashenko continued. Since Belarus became independent, some 136,000 families have improved their housing conditions, including about 16,000 large families. The number of low-income people has dropped by several times. Real earnings of the population rose by nearly eight times while salaries and pensions skyrocketed by ten times. Apart from that, significant cultural facilities have been built or restored. They were neglected during the Soviet period. The sport infrastructure that has been created since then rivals that in other countries, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The president pointed out that when he visited Svetlogorsk the day before, to his surprise the locals asked him to visit an ice palace instead of hospitals or kindergartens.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that on the whole, the development of the Polesie region has been a high priority for him since the early days of his presidency. Large-scale work has been done to develop natural gas infrastructure in populated localities and ameliorate lands among other things.

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