Poland’s President welcomed Stanislau Shushkevich by the words “Long live Belarus!”
The solemn ceremony of awarding of Doctor honoris causa diploma of the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) to the first leader of independent Belarus has taken place in Warsaw today.
Professor Stanislau Shushkevich, Dr. Sci. in Physics and Mathematics, is an author of more than 150 scientific works, 2 textbooks, 7 monographs, a contributing author of 73 inventions, a thesis tutor for 33 works.
In Belarus Shushkevich, who was a signee of the agreement on dissolution of the Soviet Union, joined the opposition to Lukashenka. Because of that the first leader of independent Belarus was deprived of his retirement pension. The government refused to adjust it according to an index, and at the moment his pension is equal to 30 cents (the littlest pension in the world).
The Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) is the most prestigious economic university in Poland, and the leading business university in Eastern and Central Europe. As porter of charter97.org website informs, among the guests who attended the ceremony of granting the degree of Doctor honoris causa to Stanislau Shushkevich there were chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, Jacek Michałowski, the “Father” of Polish reforms, Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Poland in 1989-1991 Leszek Balcerowicz, a former Foreign Minister of Poland, co-chairman of Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters Adam Rotfeld, a former Defense Minister, Vice-President of the European Parliament in 2004-2006 Janusz Onyszkiewicz, the leader of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, a presidential candidate in Belarus in 2010 Andrei Sannikov, as well as rectors and professors of many universities of Warsaw.
The solemn ceremony was opened by signing Poland’s anthem, Dąbrowski's Mazurka. A song “Mighty God” written by Mikola Ravenski, was performed as an unofficial anthem of Belarus.
The address of Polish President Bronisław Komorowski to Stanislau Shushkevich was read out by the chief of the Chancellery of the President Jacek Michałowski:
“Our sincere congratulations to Mister Professor on receiving the degree of Doctor honoris causa of the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH). I am greatly pleased to greet awarding this title to the great scientist, a person who had made a considerable contribution to downfall of the Soviet regime, democratic changes, destruction of walls and construction of bridges between nations. The biography of Mr Shushkevich can serve an example how societies of Poland, Belarus and Russia were forms. Stanislau Shushkevich comes of a family which experienced persecution for their love of their national language and culture. For Mr Shushkevich the mission of a scientist has become a path to a social, and later to a political involvement in the struggle for freedom. Because of his aspirations toward independence of Belarus he has made it into history as a politician, who together with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine put an end to the Soviet Union.
We recognize his merits in building the sovereignty of Belarus, foundations of democracy, civil society and market economy. It is impossible to destroy these achievements. Independent Belarus is an inseparable part of Europe. We are creating a society of values. It is symbolic that the today’s gala coincides with the holiday of freedom, which was celebrated yesterday in Poland. 25 years ago, on June 4, 1989, with the help of ballot papers Polish people said “No!” to the Communist dictatorship. I am happy that exactly on this anniversary which is very important to Poland, which aims to unite Europe and the free world, Mr Professor is granted this title from one of the leading universities of our country. Once again let me express my gratitude to you and all Belarusians who strive for freedom. Zhyve Belarus! (Long live Belarus!),” the address of the President of Poland reads
A former President of Poland, a legendary leader of Polish “Solidarity” Lech Walesa has congratulated Stanislau Shushkevich as well:
“It is the highest and deserved recognition of scientific and political activities of Mr Professor. You were able to combine your devotion to science and aspirations to discover mysteries of the world of physics, mathematics and technics with community service, building of a new European state over the ruins of the USSR. You are a scientific and patriotic ideal. The degree of Doctor Honoris Causa is a display of solidarity of Poles with you and with the entire Belarusian nation. Awarding this title is even more symbolic as it takes place on the 25th anniversary of the events of 1989, which opened a way to freedom and democracy to us. The mission of the Polish Solidarity which was born in 1980 and which has been upheld through the 1980-ies, finally bore fruits in Poland, and in other countries which fight with Communism.
Freedom was opening to the eyes of a new group of oppressed nations. It would not be able without the courage and determination of outstanding people, and you, Mr Professor, take an important place among them. An indication of unique courage and confirmation of a great political talent was signing the agreement on peaceful dissolution of the Soviet Union, which has become a beginning of freedom and democracy for many countries and nations. This award belongs to your country as well.
The way to freedom is still continued. The today’s award as a gesture of solidarity allows this hope to stay alive, and you are the voice of this hope. You have dedicated friends, and their aim is building and development of Polish-Belarusian Solidarity. We are adding to this the important title today, and I express my gratitude to the authorities and the staff of the Warsaw School of Economics. With friendly congratulations,” Lech Walesa wrote.
While receiving this award, Stanislau Shushkevich noted:
“For me personally the Miracle at the Vistula has taken place today, as I have been granted the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa in the most important university of Poland.
“Lukanomics” is reigning in my Belarus today. It’s an absurd economic policy of Lukashenka, who is sponsored by Russia. Though our country is independent, in fact our government is following the will of the Kremlin. In order to show the effectiveness of “Lukanomics”, one can recall that in 1992 the Belarusian ruble’s cost was the same as the Russian one. Over this period the Belarusian ruble has become 3000 times cheaper as compared to the Russian ruble. Life expectancy in Belarus is one of the shortest ones, and finally, Belarus takes the first place in the world list of alcohol consumption per capita according to the World Health Organisation. Liberalization of the Belarusian economy is out of the question now. Dictator Lukashenka understands perfectly well that it would mean the end of his rule. In post-Soviet times economic indicators of Belarus were higher than in Poland. Today we are lagging behind you incredibly. But I am convinced that if it depended on Belarusians, our country would have joined the European Union long ago,” the first leader of independent Belarus said.