Stanislau Shushkevich: Lies of official propaganda can easily be exposed
8:55, — Politics
Belarusians can visit neighbouring Lithuania to see the lies of official propaganda.
“The Belarusian propaganda pours mud on the Baltic counties, but people have a high opinion of these counties. Moreover, the Belarusians prefer not to show their emotions like the Latvians and Estonians and they are as thrifty as the Lithuanians,” Prof. Stanislau Shushkevich, the first head of the Republic of Belarus and political figure, who signed the Belavezha Accords on the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1999, said in an interview with TVNET.
The Baltic states, especially Lithuania, what do they mean for Belarus in a political, economic and, so to say, post-Soviet sense? What attitude does your country has towards its closest northern neighbours?
Our official propaganda continues to say the Baltic countries are backward, people hardly survive there while Belarusians live far better. These lies can be easily exposed. Belarusians can easily go to Lithuania. They arrive in Vilnius or Kaunas, see everything with their own eyes and compare. The comparison is against Belarus.
As for Latvia, it's a rather difficult matter. It is situated far and we have the shorter common border with it. Estonia
is a far country to be visited by Belarusians.
For Belarus, the Baltic states are a good example of how intellectuals should struggle for state independence, language, culture and national dignity, develop and strengthen them. I've dealt a lot with the Baltic people, sorry for this term, both in the Soviet times and now. I respect them and have a high opinion of them.
You know, your countries has a historical advantage – the Baltic countries didn't lose their statehood for such a long time as it was with Belarus. Yes, your intellectuals were also being eliminated, but it was not as cruel as in Belarus.
Of course, the mentality and language of the Poles, Ukrainians and Russians are closer to us, but I think we have something in common with the Baltic people too.
For example, the Belarusians are as thrifty as the Lithuanians and like the Latvians and Estonians they don't show their emotions. I'd like to say that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are very good examples to follow, but we shouldn't copy them blindly.
You are bold to call Lukashenka a criminal, you are an active opposition member reading accusatory lectures, but the regime does nothing to punish you. You even can travel to the EU freely. Is it because of your status and famous name?
What are you talking about? I had to look for devious routes to leave Belarus during six months, because I turned out to have been included in the special database of our secret services. I had to go to Europe through Russia and the Baltic states. I finally got angry and decided to figure out why I had been put on the blacklist. It was found out that I was banned from leaving the country as a person who has a lawsuit against him. But no one has brought any suits against me! They later apologized and said it was a computer glitch. But how was a computer able to put me on the blacklist mistakenly? By the way, only opposition members and opponents of the regime meet such “glitches”.
How do border guards explain to me that I am not allowed to leave Belarus? Their commander says, “Yes, I understand I violate the Constitution, but I have an order and have to obey it as a military man.”
What concerns the “absence of punishment”, Lukashenka's order in fact deprived me of my pension. Do you want to laugh? My state pension is 0.4 euro, 40 cents!
How do you, the former first head of the independent state, an associate professor, professor and scientist, live in today's Belarus?
I am very happy that I didn't make new friends when I was in power and I am happy that I didn't lose my old ones. I can earn my living by giving lectures abroad...
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