MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has called accusation of corruption an outright lie at a press conference for national and foreign mass media on 20 December, BelTA has learnt.
Alexander Lukashenko admitted that he is deeply upset by such claims. “Despite being tough, I am a sensitive person, many know that,” he said. In the run-up to the election information had been released claiming that the Belarusian President had a $9 billion fortune. “My dear, find this money and take it,” Alexander Lukashenko said. He reminded that US President George Bush had also looked for it some time ago.
“It is an outright lie, it is impossible to steal $9 billion in Belarus,” the head of state said. It is impossible to do that even in the richest Russia, the President believes. “Where in Belarus can you steal money and how?” Alexander Lukashenko asked. In his opinion, corruption and theft can mainly happen during a large-scale privatization actively supported by officials. Because property is always estimated using market prices. They can claim a company is worth $2 billion, though it is estimated at $2.5 billion and share the remaining $500 million. However, Belarus has no history of a large-scale privatization; it has no abundant gas and oil reserves that provide an opportunity to steal. “What can you steal why dealing in TV sets, tractors or cars? They bring very modest profits. Taking these profits from a labor collective? That is impossible,” Alexander Lukashenko underlined.
The President admitted that he has to tolerate this lie, because he has never taken what does not belong to him, he earned his living solely using his hands and brains. “I have never deceived my people,” Alexander Lukashenko said. He reminded that in the 1990s he had to ask Russia to write off Belarus’ debt, because Belarusians did not have money back then. “I apologize for my immodesty but it was my personal insistent initiative,” the head of state said.
According to him, he has never been tempted into enriching. “I will never pick this fruit, no matter how sweet it is,” the President underlined. He has always remembered that he was elected by people. “I was elected President in that impoverished and miserable country, how come you have forgotten that,” the head of state said. “The trust of people will always be the greatest value for me, I will sacrifice anything for my people,” the head of state said. “Those are not high-sounding words, it is the sense of my life. I will act this way whatever it may take,” Alexander Lukashenko concluded.