Lukashenko: Belarus' foreign policy strategy should be revised

Belarus' foreign policy strategy should be revised, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting to discuss Belarus' current foreign policy priorities, BelTA has learned.

Taking part in the meeting are heads of Belarusian diplomatic missions abroad.

“In the spring of last year we already saw attempts to escalate tensions here in Minsk, but we underestimated this. Anti-Belarus activity on social media was mounting, the rhetoric of our opponents in Brussels and Washington changed and not for the better. In the run-up to the election individual personalities and organizations intensified their work, there was an influx of fake news and attempts to manipulate public opinion here and abroad,” the Belarusian leader said.

“The election campaign of last year and the post-election policy of intimidation using sanctions revealed that our foreign policy strategy needs a serious update. We should have a clear understanding of what is happening around us, what our place is in this rapidly changing system, how quickly and professionally we are able to adapt responding to modern challenges and threats,” the head of state emphasized.

In such a situation, only professionals devoted to their work and the country can give an adequate response to this, the president is convinced. According to him, the diplomatic service is akin to the military service, with the only difference that diplomats fight for the interests of the Fatherland on the distant approaches to its borders. “In many respects, it depends on your competence, dedication and loyalty whether the real guns will start firing or not,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

“It is time to shake the whole system up. I emphasize once again: the head of government, the head of the Belarus President Administration, the minister need to earnestly assess personnel decisions of our foreign affairs ministry,” the president said.

“The ministry must keep in mind that the modern world is not limited to the countries of the European Union. It is much bigger,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko cited China, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Turkey as an example. Belarus has good relations with these countries as well as with a number of countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The president stressed that cooperation with these countries holds a lot of promise and endless opportunities. “It opens up endless opportunities for Belarus, a country that is not huge in terms of the size of its economy and population. We simply do not always know how to make the most of these opportunities. Someone is just reluctant to fulfill the agreements reached at the level of the head of state. The above-mentioned countries do not put forward any ultimatums and do not call for pressurizing Belarus, like some of our neighbors,” the president said.