A.G. LUKASHENKO :
A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY
Historians look for and, of course, find the confirmation to talents and gifts of prominent personalities in the facts of their early biography. And this is fair because the emergence of every significant historic public figure takes place much earlier than is usually noted by the politically engaged and merciless, in its own way, machine which forms the public opinion.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko is a representative of the new generation of the post-Soviet politicians. He did not belong to the Party or the so-called Communist nomenclature and never occupied any posts in the hierarchy of power. He belongs to the self-made group of public figures. The Belarusian President is notable for his powerful adherence to principle and for panoramic vision of events. His has his own outlook, he openly states his opinion even in the audience which is not inclined to be consensual. A.G. Lukashenko is a resolute opposer of the division of the world into confronting forces, he is in favour of settling all the disputable problems by way of diplomacy and by legal methods.
A.G. Lukashenko was born on the 30th of August, 1954 in a settlement Kopys, Orsha district, Vitebsk province. Belarusian. Since his youth he had to put upon his own shoulders a considerable responsibility for the life of the family. He successfully graduated from two educational establishments: historical faculty of the Mogilev Teachers' Training Institute (1975) and the Belarusian Agricultural Academy (1985) - one of the oldest higher educational establishments of the country. He was qualified as teacher of history, social science and economist of the agroindustrial sector. Dynamism of the inquisitive personality of A.G. Lukashenko, keenly susceptible to faults of the reality, is reflected in the multiplicity of his interests, in quick gaining of knowledge and professional experience which are distinctive features of his inborn talent of a statesman. In 1975-1977 and afterwards in 1980-1982 A.G. Lukashenko served in the frontier troops of the Soviet Army. In 1977-1978 he worked in Komsomol and administrative bodies in the city of Mogilev. In 1978-1980 he was executive secretary of the Shklov District branch of the All-Union Society "Knowledge". From 1982 he worked as deputy chairman of a collective farm, deputy manager of the building materials factory, director of the "Gorodets" state farm of the Shklov District. Everywhere he works A.G. Lukashenko displays the initiative, achieves positive results, enjoys broad support in the workers' collectives.
In 1990 A.G. Lukashenko was elected People's Deputy of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus. From the very first steps of his parliamentary activities he resolutely voiced criticism of leftist and rightist politicians revealing their weak points. He expressed with the utmost frankness his opinion about the problems of the complicated reality, he had an uncompromising attitude to demagogy, temporization, carelessness to the destinies of the people.
When holding the post of chairman of the Supreme Council commission on the examination of the activities of commercial structures which had been set up under the organs of state administration ( April 1993 - July 1994) A.G. Lukashenko proved on the country's scale to be a bright tribune, an unbribable enemy of corruption, an independent deputy having his own position on the basic directions of reforms and democratization of the Belarusian society.
On the 10th of July 1994 as a result of the difficult election struggle with five contenders who were representing the whole spectrum of the country's political forces A.G. Lukashenko was elected President of the Republic of Belarus. He received more than 80 per cent votes of the electors who believed in his honesty, responsibility and capability to uphold the vital interests of the population. Under the conditions of the protracted crisis, decline in living standard A.G. Lukashenko was able to quickly form an energetic team and started consistent implementation of his pre-election promises.
A.G. Lukashenko took over a most weakened country which was facing a great number of acute socio-economic problems. As a rule, A.G. Lukashenko's working day lasts 12-14 hours, but the President knows very well that it is not his own capacity for work that is decisive for progress but aim-oriented, organized toil and initiative of every citizen of the republic. The course he steers aimed at renewal, stabilization and advance in living standards has as its objective the transformation of Belarus into a prosperous country. Defining the strategy of the national development of the Republic of Belarus A.G. Lukashenko underscores that only the comprehensive and full integration of all countries of Europe and, first of all, the Slavonic states can resolve the problems of unemployment, poverty, education, health care, environmental safety. At the initiative of A.G. Lukashenko a referendum was held in May 1995 which approved the idea of integration with Russia, the new state symbols, attributed to the Russian language the status equal to that of the Belarusian language. What accounts for the prestige of the Belarusian President? It is his honesty and openness, simplicity and personal fascination, his constant mobility and willingness to discuss any problems with the people without any demagogy. The force of the Belarusian President lies in his devotion to his people. A man of immense energy, A.G. Lukashenko strives to settle every kind of problem. He constantly communicates with workers' collectives. He easily delivers improvised speeches before any audience. The dogmas of any political party are of no importance for A.G. Lukashenko, he is guided by the national interests of Belarus. The people of Belarus is his political party.
A.G. Lukashenko is the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic of Belarus Armed Forces, he heads the Security Council. In April 1996 he was elected Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Community of Russia and Belarus. In 1995 he was elected Honorary Academician of the Russian Academy of Social Sciences. In May 1997 he was elected President of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Belarus, the same year he became laureate of 1997 of the International Award named after M.A Sholokhov - " For the courageous political publicism and selfless position in the matter of protection of the national interests."
A.G. Lukashenko is married, his wife Galina Rodionovna is a civil servant working in the Shklov District Executive Committee. He has two sons - Viktor and Dmitry.
Interests and Hobbies
A.G. Lukashenko has always willingly indulged in sport. The Head of the State is sure that enormous psychological strain he undergoes every day and nervous stress can only be removed by actively going in for sport.
Although every minute of the President's time schedule is entered on the records he tries to find time amidst the state affairs to come up to a bookshelf. Reading books for him is a most pleasant occupation.
He obtains satisfaction when he gets acquainted with technological novelties , with latest achievements of the scientific mind.
Outstanding People about the President of the Republic of Belarus
Russians' View of A.Lukashenko
About half of the Russians view the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko "only positively", 30 per cent express their "neutral" attitude and 10 per cent view him as "bad". These are the data obtained as a result of the All-Russian opinion poll conducted by sociologists from the "Public Opinion" Foundation among urban and rural citizens of Russia. As observers note these data are somewhat unexpected because the Belarusian leader is permanently attacked in the Russia's mass media. Yet, one cannot cast doubt on the obtained results because the poll was carried out not by Belarusian institutions but by independent Russian sociologists who often cannot be suspected of taking any liking to A. Lukashenko.
Characterizing the Belarusian President the Russians pointed out his positive features oftener. Alexander Lukashenko, in their view, is first of all a patriot of his country, worrying about it, he is a statesman, an independent politician firmly standing up for the interests of his people, he "does not grovel" before the USA. These qualities were underscored by 17 per cent of Russians. 14 per cent of the respondents characterized him as an intelligent, erudite, sociable, professional administrator and master who is not at a loss for a word. Russians even oftener point out the positive features of the Belarusian leader when they speak about him meaning not a politician and a statesman but a man: a young one, kind, athletic, honest, strong-willed, determined, straightforward, just.
Those of the respondents who express their bad attitude to A.Lukashenko say he is not patriotic, some of them call him a nationalist. Eight per cent of the respondents believe he is a very hot-tempered and imperious person. Two per cent of the poll participants base their attitude towards A.Lukashenko on the assumption that he is an "old-type communist", a "politician of the old school".
His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II
" I know Alexander Grigoryevich as a kind and sincere person, a toiler, a true son of the Belarusian people with whom the people of Russia has lived for centuries and will always live in an indissoluble unity. The church is a primordial custodian of the unity of peoples. And it prays : let the Lord help us to preserve and build our brotherhood for the welfare of every citizen of the spiritually united Russia."
Stroyev Egor Semyonovich
Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly
of the Russian Federation
"The people of Belarus has not been a spoilt child of the fortune. In the course of the 20th century it lived through the revolutionary experiments, the devastating invasion, the environmental catastrophe, but it did not break nor did it bend down. It is firmly following the road of renewal, it looks forward with confidence to the 21st century.
Tenacity in hardships, persistence in constructive labour, openness and cordiality in friendship - these are the features of the Belarusian people that we know of and are fond of. These qualities are inherent in the best leaders who are put forward by the people in the crucial periods of its history.
At present our states are living through such a period. Russia and Belarus have common past and common strategic interests. I am confident that we shall have common better future. Such is the will of our people. The task of politicians is to put it into practice with maximal benefit for all and everyone. I do not have any doubt that we will have enough forces and good reason in order to follow such ways for the accomplishment of the great goal, the unity of our brotherly people."
Shamyakin Ivan Petrovich
People's writer of Belarus,
Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus,
Hero of Socialist Labour,
Winner of USSR and BSSR State Prizes
"It is with great interest that I always listen to the speeches of our President. Irrefutable logic of Alexander Grigoryevich, profound reasoning in explaining the facts, clear thinking, capacity to answer any question, even a malevolent attack of an opponent, right off the bat, as they would say - these are qualities of the high class propagandist.
However, when holding such a high position it is important not only to be able to speak well but to be able to act promptly taking the initiative. Lukashenko is in excellent possession of such a quality. He not only provides guidance from a high "throne" but carries out a titanic work, even taking sometimes preliminary job which could be done by the assistants in the Presidential Administration and in the Council of Ministers.
The President's attention is focused on all branches of industry, finance, trade, foreign relations, integration with Russia, municipal and public service. May we recall how the President put the Komarovsky market in order. And I am especially impressed by his concern for agriculture. The same attention to the rural areas used to be given by Piotr Mironovich Masherov. And Belarus used to have record-breaking harvests, higher milk yields than in Ukraine, in the Kuban area, in the Black Earth zones, it was catching up with Germany and Holland.
There is only one thing I want the President to do: to pay everyday attention to the problems of the Belarusian language, literature, book publishing, culture in general. So far, this is a lapse in the life of our republic. The President's attention to the language, the culture will turn the absolute majority of the creative intellectuals into his sincere helpers. more...
Political Activities of the President of Belarus
PRIORITIES OF THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
The foreign policy of President A. G. Lukashenko proceeds from recognition of civilizational multipolarity of the contemporary world, respect of the traditional interests and bases of development of states and peoples.
This policy is characterized by a balanced approach towards the expansion of cooperation with traditional partners in the East and with the Western countries. The leaders of the republic stand up for active mutually beneficial cooperation with all states and interstate entities on the basis of unconditional observance of the norms of international law and fulfillment of the assumed commitments, confirmation of the universal principles of democracy and human rights. A.G. Lukashenko does a lot to ensure the openness of Belarus to business-like interaction.
The Republic of Belarus advocates establishment of an equitable and reliable system of the world security , non-participation in armed conflicts. A.G. Lukashenlo has initiated the necessity of establishment under present conditions of a nuclear free space in Central and Eastern Europe. The Belarusian leaders are interested in the formation of the "good neighbourhood belt" around Belarus , in the establishment of an efficient and mutually beneficial mechanism of cooperation with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine.
The priority direction of the foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus is in all-round deepening of integration processes and in expansion of bilateral cooperation with Russia, as well as in development of civilizational unity of the post-Soviet space given its historically formed spiritual, cultural and economic community. The signing of the Treaty and the adoption of the Charter of the Union of Belarus and Russia created new opportunities for deepening integration between Belarus and Russia which meets the interests of the people of both countries.
A.G. Lukashenko, being an opponent of any external dictate, proceeds from the assumption that the world will be far more stable if several force centres interact in it on an equal basis and that is why the Republic of Belarus is interested in peaceful Europe, playing its own independent part, and, in broader terms, in Eurasia. That is why the Republic of Belarus is against NATO expansion although it supports the "Partnership for Peace" with the North Atlantic Treaty, that is why Alexander Lukashenko gives particular attention to the development of friendship and cooperation with all countries and, first of all, with traditional Asian partners in the interests of stability, development and good neighbourhood.
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko is an advocate of international programmes on ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms, on fight against terrorism, violence, drug abuse and alcoholism.