Transcript: CNN interview with Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko

CNN: Mr President, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us right here on CNN. You have been accused of overseeing a brutal crackdown in your political opponents because the election final yr. Hundreds of individuals delayed. A few of them in response to human rights teams struggling human rights abuse inside jail services, folks have been killed. Would you are taking this chance now to apologize to the folks of Belarus for the human rights abuses that they suffered at your palms?

Alexander Lukashenko: No, I’d not prefer to take this chance. If I ever would, I’d do this by means of the Belarusian media. They’re fairly good right here. What could be the purpose of doing it on CNN? I do not assume that is even a related query, and in precept I’ve nothing to apologize for, and the most recent occasions in Belarus occur to verify my level.

CNN: You say you don’t have anything to apologize for, however Human Rights Watch says a number of detainees have reported damaged bones, damaged enamel, mind accidents, pores and skin wounds, electrical burns. Amnesty Worldwide speaks of detention centres changing into torture chambers the place protestors have been pressured to lie within the dust, stripped bare, whereas police kicked and beat them with truncheons. You do not assume that is value apologising for?

Lukashenko: You realize, we do not have a single detention heart, as you say, like Guantanamo, or these bases that the US and your nation created in Jap Europe. So I feel for those who take this into consideration – one learns by comparability, therefore my reply to your query – I do not assume you’ll come out trying any higher. As regards our personal detention facilities, the place we hold these accused or these underneath investigation, they’re no worse than in Britain or the US. I can assure you that. You discuss sure human rights organizations, nicely, we’ve seen these human rights organizations in motion. Properly, you might be man and a journalist who is aware of the difficulty spots very nicely. I’m nicely conscious of your biography in journalism. You have been round. So human rights organizations, if my reminiscence serves me proper, all of them accused Syrians, Russians and others of utilizing organic weapons. You even confirmed this, then it turned out to be a case of video manipulation. And but, human rights organizations have been concerned. So possibly in Belarus, too, you might be being prompted by these human rights organizations. That is why I counsel you talk about concrete information, and never the views or statements of some doubtful human rights organizations.

CNN: I do not assume Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Worldwide are doubtful. They’re internationally recognised, you already know, requirements of human rights activism. And so they’ve all acquired testimony of former detainees in your jail camps, in your jail detention centres. Each women and men who’ve spoken of sexual violence towards them, together with rape and threats of rape. Are you saying that’s simply made up? That it is faux?

Lukashenko: Every little thing that you’ve got simply stated is faux and fantasy. I assure you it is faux and fantasy. When you like, we are able to take a concrete reality involving so-called sexual violence and we are able to examine it in your presence. And as soon as we have investigated, you will note the true value of your human rights organizations and the statements you have copied from the web. Look, this merely is not acceptable. For a channel like CNN, I am sorry to say, it is not acceptable to cite all types of lies from the web. Somebody will need to have wished you to do that, that is why I would not advise you repeating all of it. What was the opposite query? Initially? Properly, as regards human rights requirements, please give me these requirements. These requirements have been made up by you within the West and also you need the entire world to bend to those requirements. Relaxation assured, you will not succeed, simply as with the election requirements. There are not any requirements. We, along with Russia, stated allow us to develop election analysis requirements as a part of OSCE, you did not agree as a result of you have got your personal requirements. And it’s the identical with human rights. And yet another factor, as a result of as I stated, one learns by comparability. We’ve by no means shot point-blank at a single opposition campaigner or perhaps a radical. However you confirmed on CNN just lately a younger girl shot within the US Congress, a hero of the US. Is that not human rights abuse? However you retain quiet about it.

CNN: There are a number of incidents being reported of protestors being killed. No less than 4 folks in response to Human Rights teams. There’s a case of Vitold Ashurak, a 50-year-old opposition activist on this nation whose identify you might know, who died in custody apparently of a coronary heart assault. Though his household say he has no historical past of coronary heart illness, however his physique was coated in bruises. So there’s loads of proof on the market of the brutality of your regime. What is not faux is the ambiance of concern that’s undoubtedly current on the streets of this metropolis. I have been out myself in Minsk, attempting to ask folks what they consider you, and nobody was prepared to reply. They’re too frightened, they stated they did not wish to go to jail. That is the form of nation you preside over, that is the ambiance of concern.

Lukashenko: Properly it appears to be like such as you’ve come right here to accuse me of one thing, however I will not maintain it towards you, it’s essential to have been given this task. Let’s begin from the top. You have been strolling round Minsk asking folks questions. Did you say who you might be?

CNN: After all

Lukashenko: Did you introduce your self to the folks you have been interviewing?

CNN: After all I did, in fact I informed folks we’re from CNN. We do not attempt to dupe folks into talking to us.

Lukashenko: So that you stated you have been from CNN, and folks – possibly an amazing majority – didn’t wish to speak to you in Minsk? Proper?

CNN: Who I spoke to?

Lukashenko: Sure. So to reply your query, folks in Minsk are very clever, sensible, proficient and educated. They know what CNN stands for. There was a CNN journalist just lately on the Large Dialog with the President – she was current there, proper? She was. And we confirmed it dwell on TV, what the CNN place is. So in Minsk, folks know very nicely that your channel is biased, they usually merely did not wish to speak to you about it, as a result of they knew that you just have been going to distort something they stated anyway. So I am sorry, however that could be a reality. And the truth that the folks of Minsk did not wish to speak to you – look, that is your drawback. You’re a journalist, a proficient particular person, it is best to have gotten them to open up. You did not succeed. What’s that to do with me? That is not my fault. When you requested for my assist, I’d have helped you. However you did not ask me for it. What was the opposite factor?

Lukashenko: An environment of concern. That may be a lie, Mathew. You are mendacity. I am sorry. You have walked round Minsk, with out safety guards. No person accompanied you. And I do not see any concern in your eyes at present. So what have our folks acquired to concern? You see, the primary factor about our nation’s picture, our particular factor so to talk, is that our folks need not concern strolling round, be it day or night time, going out with younger youngsters, even infants in prams, and that’s our personal achievement. And I’m prepared to face up for it at any degree with anyone. I do not consider that you just have been you had something to concern in Minsk, I simply do not consider it. It is a lie CNN concocted prematurely, or possibly any individual had you do it. That is why I utterly reject the notion that folks stroll round trembling. One minute, what was the opposite factor?

CNN: Alright, I hear that however let’s transfer on. Let’s transfer on to the subsequent topic.

Lukashenko: The lifeless. You stated 4 folks died on account of protest actions, please say their names. Yesterday…

CNN: I can inform you the place and after they died. The eleventh of August one protestor was killed when police fired stunt grenades and tear fuel right into a crowd in Minsk. August the twelfth 25-yeard-old man died in custody after police used dwell ammunition towards protestors. The ninth of August, a protestor was run over by a police automobile, that was caught on video. Do you not know their names?

Lukashenko: That is the primary I’ve heard of it. I do know that, on the barricades on the eighth or ninth of August, when these folks managed from overseas attacked our police pressure, and so particular gear was used. One particular person raised a stun grenade and tried to throw it on the police. He was injured, I do know of that incident. However it wasn’t the case of the police – or as we are saying, militia – going someplace to seek out and kill this particular person. That is not what occurred. He got here to kill them. He is an ex-con, by the best way, pardoned by me. Simply so you already know, I pardoned him, and he went to the barricades with knives, and tried to throw a grenade on the police. In return, he acquired an harm. And that’s what I do know. Every little thing else, nicely, you may dangle something on this era – some died of COVID, some died of bronchial asthma, some had most cancers and died. And our protesters put all of them on the identical checklist. Then you definately learn the checklist and have been happy as a result of it was what you wanted. So there is no such thing as a have to checklist these folks. I’d advise that you just unravel it, and for those who need assistance, we are going to assist. There isn’t a have to throw all the pieces into the identical pile. These 4 deaths by no means occurred.

CNN: However, the violence over that interval has left you within the eyes of a lot of the worldwide group as a global pariah. Your predominant opposition determine on this nation Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is regarded, in lots of worldwide circles, because the true winner of the election final yr and the elected chief, correctly, of Belarus. Even the president Biden have met her within the White Home, you haven’t been invited to the White Home, have you ever?

Lukashenko: One factor at a time. The feminine persona – I am not going to debate her. I do not struggle with girls. And I do not wish to characterize her in any method. As regards opposition management. I hope I’ll at all times have the identical view as I do now. The chief of the opposition is somebody who lives on this nation and has a distinct perspective. As they categorical it, they marketing campaign to deliver this various view to fruition. There are not any such folks as you describe them in Belarus. They’re someplace over there in your facet, paid by you.

CNN: No, they fled the nation as a result of they’re scared of staying right here. The individuals who have stayed have been imprisoned, put in jail for like 10 and 11 years due to their opposition actions and you already know that is the case.

Lukashenko: Look, if one is a revolutionary they usually acquired themselves concerned in a revolution, furthermore, tried to win a blitzkrieg right here with overseas cash – there have been such folks right here. Properly, they should be ready for something. Is not that the best way historical past works? However for those who wished to become profitable on this or hype it up as they are saying lately, nicely that is a distinct challenge. Tikhanovskaya – Matthew, I swear by my youngsters that Tikhanovskaya was not fleeing wherever. She requested me to take her to the Lithuanian border, not solely her however just a few different folks too, which is what I did. So she did not flee. Would you like proof? We can provide you proof. That is yet one more faux. He who has acquired himself concerned in a revolution ought to go all the best way. He is aware of what a revolution is and what the results are. But when they flee, they’re fraudsters who wished to become profitable on this, which is what they did. And the most recent occasions are proof of this. So you might be both misinformed or you are attempting to misinform your viewers and listeners.

CNN: As regards to misinformation… with reference to misinformation, let’s transfer on..

Lukashenko: Wait, Matthew, wait a minute. One ultimate factor so can end on this topic. You are attempting to accuse me of one thing, however let me provide you with some information about human rights. You latterly delivered a strike on Afghanistan on suspicion of terrorism, and also you hit a household,12 youngsters died.

CNN: We’re not speaking about United States, we’re speaking Belarus, not the US. We’ve not acquired time to speak about the US. Let me ask you this query, in Might this yr a passenger airliner was ordered to land in Minsk as a result of what was stated to be a terrorist menace on board. On floor, a Belarussian dissident, was arrested alongside along with his girlfriend. Do you proceed to insist that was a real bomb menace? Or do you now admit that the entire incident was manufactured by you and your safety forces as a way to seize the critic that you just wished in jail?

Lukashenko: Matthew, I’m not going to confess to something in entrance of you. I’m not underneath investigation. So please select your phrases rigorously. As regards your remark, earlier than I reply this query, I wasn’t the one to begin speaking about the US. You requested me how I’d react to the truth that a sure particular person met Biden in America, that’s, the US president. You began speaking about it. That is why I discussed America as we discuss human rights. You killed 12 youngsters in Afghanistan. You killed 12 youngsters in Afghanistan. Did you see these folks clinging on to the chassis and dying in Kabul? You spent 20 years killing folks there. So please settle down about deaths and dying and so forth.

CNN: I did not imply to reprimand you, I simply wished us to maneuver on a distinct topic.

Lukashenko: Now as to the flight. Just lately, ICAO, a global group, lastly despatched their inspectors right here, we’ve been ready for 2 or three months for this. They’re but to publish the outcomes. So what are your grounds on your accusations? Do you have got another information? We’ve put our information on the desk, and we’ve proven what occurred. if you wish to know concerning the detainee…

CNN: The one data I’ve is the data you set out publicly, which is that you just obtained a fax from a location in Switzerland apparently from a Palestinian militant group Hamaz, that stated there was a bomb on board the aircraft and also you notified the plane and it took the choice to land at which level you arrested Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, the Belarussian dissident and his girlfriend, and took them into custody, they’re nonetheless in jail now. Are you telling me that, you consider that was an actual bomb menace or did you manufacture it to seize that critic to get him into jail right here?

Lukashenko: I stated just lately, but when this had been a premeditated motion deliberate by our safety companies, if this have been true, you’d be flattering me, as a result of for safety companies to hold out such an operation with out breaking a single worldwide legislation and even instruction, nicely that might have price loads. I am unable to say that our secret companies, and even your secret companies could be ready to conduct such an operation. So, that is your fantasy. In order for you the reality, simply ask ICAO. They carried out an investigation. We all know their view, and you do not. As regards the detainee – wait a minute, do not interrupt me. As regards the detainee, Protasevich, the opposition activist, we can provide you a chance to satisfy him and you’ll speak to him. Do not ask me questions on it. He’ll inform you. He has already stated loads, have you ever heard? He has stated quite a bit.

CNN: I wish to meet him. That may be good, thanks, I will take you up on that supply.

Lukashenko: Please do.

CNN: However it’s not simply me that does not consider your story – most airways on this planet have stopped flying right here. It is simply Turkish airways and Russian airways that fly right here now, possibly one from just a few different nations. The primary airways of the world refuse to fly to Belarus now and even overfly Belarus due to the menace they assume your nation poses to the civilian plane. Is not it true that you’ll do something even violate worldwide legal guidelines within the skies as a way to get the folks you need, to get your critics into custody? That is the reality is not it.

Lukashenko: If you’re afraid to fly over our territory, I can personally assure your security and that of your organization, your nation or another nation when flying over Belarus, simply as ever earlier than. But when I, or the law-enforcement authorities, see any menace to the Belarusian state, we are going to pressure any aircraft to land, be it from the UK or the US. Will probably be pressured to land in Belarus instantly if we really feel threatened, and you’ll do the identical. That is regular, and I’m no exception right here. However as for concern of flying over Belarus, you have got been flying over Belarus for many years with none issues, and there will not be any. However for those who select to not fly, that is effective, okay, fly over the North Pole or the South Pole, that’s your proper, I can’t pressure you. I am not as highly effective as Nice Britain, not to mention the US, to dictate any phrases. When you do not fly, others will, as you have simply stated. That is effective, we’ll get by. I feel the time will come, possibly new folks will come over there, and possibly over right here, and they’ll realise the adversarial impact of what you and we’re doing. This does not profit anybody, not us and never you. I do not know why you are doing this. The truth that they’ve stopped flying over us – nicely, that is since you’ve ordered them so. This opposition activist had barely been detained when everyone in Europe and America acquired their orders from Washington and began making carbon-copy statements. They have been equivalent, simply take a look at them. Because of this somebody – possibly CNN? – wrote these statements, they usually started to ship them and stopped flying right here. High-quality, God be your choose. We’ll survive.

CNN: What concerning the threats that you just’re accused of posing now to the borders of the European Union, the Polish authorities, the Lithuanian authorities, others saying that you’re encouraging migrants from varied elements of the world to journey to Belarus, after which pushing them in direction of the borders of these nations placing huge strain on the border authorities in European Union states. Do you are taking full duty for the refugee disaster that’s underway on the Belarusian European borders for the time being?

Lukashenko: Do you have got any precise proof that I’m pushing these folks to the Polish border? No, you have got none and can’t have it. Why? As a result of…

CNN: I’ve allegations from European states. The Polish authorities that claims that you’re forcing refugees in direction of their border. You’re even giving them medication, in response to Polish officers, amphetamines, as a way to hold them awake and assist them with the chilly climate that they are trapped in typically for a lot of days on finish in that location. Do you deny that that is what the Polish authorities says?

Lukashenko: That is insanity. Every little thing that your Polish authorities is doing is insanity. You say we’re giving medication to folks. Please put your proof on the desk, if there are such information, I shall be accountable. Wait a minute, do not interrupt. However to be sitting in Warsaw, and simply wag your tongue about varied issues, avoiding accountability to the folks of Poland on your personal trickery, that is loads simpler. You might want to unravel this. Why do not you see for your self what is going on on on the border? We’re prepared. We’ve not declared a state of emergency on the border, just like the Polish did. We enable any journalist to go to the border and see for themselves? You’ll be very welcome, CNN and different channels. Wait a minute. We invited them they usually met these refugees. We ask them, please come again to Belarus earlier than winter strikes. Keep some time in Belarus. No, [they say], the Lithuanians and Poles promised political or another asylum. We’ll wait. And they also’ve been ready for 3 months for this to be resolved. What has it acquired to do with Belarusians? Is that this solely by way of Belarus that folks go to your nation and the EU? What concerning the Mediterranean, Spain, Italy and Greece? How many individuals are dying there, lots of, crossing the Mediterranean. Hundreds get into the EU this manner, and the identical applies by way of Belarus. They do not wish to come right here. They go to your nations since you invited them. Why did you invite them? You latterly publicly invited the Afghans, and also you requested the Central Asian states, former Soviet republics, and Russia to accommodate them there. You and the People requested for this and ordered Europeans to simply accept everyone. This was heard in your channel. So why aren’t you now accepting people who find themselves operating away from the wars in these nations you plundered, why? Do not blame Belarus. In the event that they have been heading for Belarus and wished to remain in Belarus, and we have been kicking them out to Poland or Lithuania, then you definately would have a case, however there are not any such individuals who wish to keep in Belarus and are being booted out by me. You, nevertheless, are kicking lifeless our bodies over our border.

CNN: Properly, I wish to take you up on that chance to go go to that border area to see what actions you are taking to guard these migrants. I will take you up on the chance. However simply to circle again yet another time, what European governments are saying and European officers is that you’re weaponizing migrants, and also you’re doing that, that is their phrase, and also you’re doing that as an act of revenge – in revenge for European sanctions, after which revenge for the truth that European nations are sheltering your dissidents, how do you reply that criticism?

Lukashenko: Matthew, you need not take me at my phrase. I stated that if you wish to, we are going to take you to the border. For the final two and a half months, these poor folks have been sitting there, 30 or extra folks, and we’ve been offering them with garments, meals and shelter. And on the opposite facet there’s simply barbed wire and Polish troopers with weapons. And we are going to present you sure issues, like after they have been setting canine on folks, beating them up, utilizing electroshock weapons simply to squeeze folks out, kick them out of Poland. And so they weren’t even heading for Poland or Lithuania, they have been going to Germany, the place they’d been invited. So please do not take me at my phrase. If I stated you can go to the border and see for your self, we are able to take you there at present or tomorrow. You’re primarily based in Moscow, you may go to from Moscow any time, we are going to take you there.

Lukashenko: Are you able to show the truth that I made a decision to take revenge on the European Union? Do you are taking me for a madman? My nation is in Central Europe, and it’s a small one. Solely 210,000 sq. kilometres? Nothing like the US. Can 10 million folks dictate phrases to half a billion? There are half a billion folks residing within the European Union. Am I mad? I do not assume you are taking me for a madman, in any other case you would not have come right here. So I am not going to take revenge on anybody. Look, we’ve survived with out the EU and we are going to proceed to outlive for a few years. The world is large sufficient with out you. It’s a small world, however it’s large. And if we have to promote one thing, the primary factor is to promote our merchandise. We export about 40% of our merchandise. And Russia alone can take all of it. However we even have China with 1.5 billion, our good friend, and we’ll promote one thing there. We’ll promote to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India, we’ve regular relations with them. We are able to get by with out you and with out the US, and can proceed to take action. Solely weak folks care about revenge, and pardon my immodesty, however I do not take into account myself a weakling. And I do not consider it essential to take revenge on the European Union. I am not going to. Revenge is extra your nation’s type. Why did you permit the European Union? Since you wanted revenge, however I do not.

CNN: Okay, you do not want the European Union. However you do want Russia. Vladimir Putin has been maybe your strongest supporter within the final 12 months after the election has been supplying you with diplomatic assist, monetary assist. My query is, what have you ever promised him in return? What does Russia what’s the value for its assist?

Lukashenko: Pardon me Matthew, you have got an Anglo-Saxon mentality. President Putin and I, or any of our officers, by no means speak like that: you pay me, or we promise one thing. We’re fraternal nations. We come from the identical origin, Russians and Belarusians. You in all probability know higher than I since you’re taking a look at us all from the side-lines. We are not any totally different, in and out. We’ve a standard coverage and customary targets. And we transfer alongside the identical street in direction of these targets. We do not want guarantees. We’re nations which might be very shut to one another and we are able to construct the longer term with out guarantees, and even you may’t cease us.

CNN: Properly, for those who say there are not any guarantees, however what concerning the navy bases? What concerning the navy bases? The radar stations are already right here, the joint Air Fight Coaching Centre, which has just lately been opened, possibly there will be extra foundation as nicely. This concern within the area, and all of this has been fuelling concern, that your dependence on Russia will flip Belarus right into a Western outpost of the Russian navy. Is that what you might be doing handing over navy management to your large Russian neighbour?

Lukashenko:: If you’re so afraid that Belarus might flip right into a Western outpost for Russia, why pursue this silly, brainless coverage? Why are you turning us into Russia’s outpost? That is first. However in essence, we’ve lengthy been an outpost of the Union State of Russia and Belarus. At this Western entrance, we’ve successfully one military, one armed pressure manned by the Belarusian military. Within the occasion of a battle, and we make no secret of it, your complete western phase of the Russian armed forces will assist us. I am not threatening you. I am simply reminding you of one thing we hold speaking about. So to say that there shall be this outpost someday sooner or later is pointless. If obligatory, this outpost may be arrange inside a month, if there’s a menace. As for bases, you shock me. Do not you or does not NATO know what overseas bases there are right here? We do not have a single overseas base together with Russians, besides for 2, you could possibly virtually say civilian bases. These are a legacy of the Soviet period. They have been constructed underneath the Soviet Union, one for early warning of nuclear missiles coming over out of your facet, and the opposite base is a communications base for the Russian armed forces to speak with their Atlantic fleet. That is all of the bases. There are about 30-40 folks serving there in complete, they usually’re all our folks. There are solely two-three Russian officers, the remaining are our servicemen. There are not any different bases right here. However the primary factor on your viewers’ profit, Matthew, and I am not afraid to say this, if we have to, Belarus will flip into one navy base for Russia and Belarus as a way to face up to your aggression, for those who resolve, or if anyone nation decides to assault. And you have to be clear on this, I’ve by no means made any secret of it. Your reporter was right here, at Large Dialog, and I spoke of it.

CNN: Completely. You talked about the Union State. That challenge which has been round for a very long time has gone to the highest of the agenda previously 12 months since your election and because the assist that Russia has been giving. This speak of nearer integration, nearer financial, political, in addition to navy ties. Is not that the actual value of Vladimir Putin assist that this nation of Belarus shall be slowly absorbed into Russia? Is not that what you have agreed to pay?

Lukashenko: Properly, it is a matter of choice, for those who favor to assume that is the value, God be your choose, accomplish that. I can see that I am unable to persuade you in any other case. To say that Belarus would grow to be a part of the US, Britain, or Russia, is an absolute fallacy. I answered this query just lately. Putin and I, and your complete management of Russia and Belarus, are clever sufficient to create a union of two unbiased states that might be even stronger than both of those separate entities. This challenge is not on the agenda in any respect. It is a product of collective Western creativeness, as we are saying right here, and I say this to you sincerely. There are not any costs. The sovereignty and independence of any nation will not be on the market, particularly not with me.

CNN: I simply wished to complete his interview with a fast query concerning the COVID 19 pandemic. Initially of the worldwide pandemic, you dismissed the virus as being I feel you stated a psychosis. You stated that it could possibly be handled with vodka. And with conventional saunas. You your self have had COVID and recovered from it. Do you now settle for, with so many individuals in your nation which were contaminated and have died, that you just have been unsuitable to say that, and that folks ought to have been extra cautious, and it is best to have suggested them to be extra cautious?

Lukashenko: You say I did not take this worldwide psychosis severely. I repeat, I did not take this worldwide psychosis severely. We have dropped the ball on defending folks whereas in search of remedies and resolving different points. Particularly you over there, within the West, in America , in the UK. There was no Belarusian variant, by the best way, however there’s a British variant stalking Europe to today. You’ve gotten mainly created a brand new virus. So do not blame us. As regards our deaths. Properly, hear, we’ve six, eight folks dying a day – six to eight, of suspected COVID. And we stock out post-mortems on all of them, and this is not at all times confirmed. However okay, let’s take six to eight. Meawhile, hundreds die in the US, lots of die on daily basis in Britain, and also you say we do not use the precise remedy? You did not deal with folks within the West. You do not like my method, our Belarusian method of treating folks. However it’s primarily based on our realities and our skills, and our method turned out to be right. We by no means locked down. Why aren’t you locking down now? So that you verify that our technique is right? We use vaccines from many nations, we’ve developed our personal, and we’re starting to make it. We’ve supplied medicines and PPE for all. Is that not a severe angle? However you wish to say that this Belarusian dictator is a madman. He does not supply remedy to folks. However I’m extra concerned on this than all of you Western leaders taken collectively. Furthermore, I do not know for those who’ve had COVID however I’ve had this illness and I do know what it is like. Do you perceive? So I’ve private expertise and a private purpose to attract sure conclusions and provides recommendation to folks. But when if I stated, Matthew you can take 100 grams of vodka and go to the sauna, nicely, that was a joke and any regular civilised particular person will take it as such, however you grabbed on to this and stated, Lukashenka desires to deal with folks with vodka and sauna. That was a joke. We use the unified remedy protocols of the World Well being Organisation. It’s the identical protocol in America, Britain, Russia and right here, and we use it in remedy, however we’re extra profitable as a result of you have got ruined your healthcare, and we’ve been constructing ours continuously. God assist this case to not worsen. So do not you go accusing me. That is all faux information – all the pieces that you’ve got simply stated is faux, faux, faux information you have acquired from the web, and a channel like CNN must be ashamed to be doing that.

CNN: Properly I imply look let me simply push again briefly on a few of the stuff you stated there, I’ve allow you to communicate. It is unsuitable to check the loss of life charges in Britain and Belarus as a result of Belarus has a inhabitants of 9 and a half million most, Britain’s inhabitants is way, a lot greater nearer to 70 million and so they’re totally different order of magnitude. What I’ll say is that 500 000 folks in response to your personal official figures, which I imply who is aware of how correct they’re, have been contaminated with COVID in Belarus, that quantities to simply over 5% of the inhabitants. Greater than 4000 folks in Belarus have died of COVID-19. You rightly say that you just had COVID-19 however you additionally stated you might be asymptomatic, so you do not communicate for the 1000s of those that have a lot more durable time with COVID-19 and really misplaced relations or died themselves of this illness. What I am asking for you, is like once I began this Interview, an apology to the individuals who have died and their households who’ve who adopted your recommendation to drink vodka and to take a sauna. You say it is a joke. However lots of people did not take care COVID-19 severely due to what you stated.

Lukashenko: No, that is all proportionate. Look, I am an economist. I do know what I am speaking about. That is all proportionate. Take the inhabitants of Britain and the variety of deaths and calculate the proportion, then examine it to ours. The distinction shall be 100 instances, you have got 100 instances extra deaths in proportion. Go forward, do the maths. I am not saying that 10 million in Belarus or – I do not know what number of you have got, 70 or 80 or 60 million in Britain? I do not bear in mind precisely. 70 million. 70 million, and we’ve six each day deaths per 10 million. Okay, let’s take 10 per 10 million, however you have got 800-900 dying a day per 70 million. So take the proportion. It isn’t tough to calculate. Seems to be like maths will not be a powerful topic in Britain? Do not take it personally Matthew, I am joking. So I am calculating this proportionately. Do not go accusing me.

CNN: I’m not blaming you. I simply wish to know for those who assume you have been unsuitable to provide those that unsuitable recommendation. When you remorse giving those that unsuitable recommendation.

Lukashenko: I’ve by no means given reckless recommendation to anyone, however you in Britain generally have been so loopy you did not know what to do. We noticed it, I noticed it, as a result of I used to be deeply concerned on this. I am unable to be reckless in my recommendation, as a result of as you stated, I had this sickness myself, not like you or some others, so I can discuss it simply. However you have got determined that we took the unsuitable path. That is your view. I’ve a distinct view. And it’s confirmed by concrete information. And there’s no getting away from it.

CNN: I’ll ask you yet another query about Ukraine, if I can. It is form of unrelated to what we have been speaking about. However you bear in mind final yr there was the arrest of a gaggle of Russian mercenaries that have been situated, that travelled from Russia to Belarus. It was simply earlier than the elections final yr, you bear in mind, I do know they have been arrested. CNN just lately did an investigation in Ukraine that exposed that that these folks had been a part of a Ukrainian led sting operation to attempt to arrest folks they considered suspected criminals, warfare criminals preventing them in them within the east of the nation. There’s loads of controversy in Ukraine about how Belarus came upon, what alerted you to the presence of these mercenaries. Are you able to recount for me how you discover out about these Russian mercenaries sitting in that sanatorium close to Minsk?

Lukashenko: You possibly can ask me any questions, Matthew. They’re all associated, Ukraine included. Since you have come all this manner, please ask.

Lukashenko:: I did not fairly perceive, what data did I’ve? You’re asking the place I acquired the data. What data?

CNN: Properly how did Belarus discover out that these folks have been in Belarus and since the police, the navy moved in to arrest them. That was all on tv, on Belarusian tv. Had been you tipped off by somebody, who informed you they have been there, was it the Russians? Was it the Ukrainians who was it? Or did you simply discover out your self?

Lukashenko: Properly, if you wish to know the reality, I can provide it to you intimately. What’s shocking is that CNN admitted just lately that this was a CIA operation by means of Ukraine. That was a shock to me.

CNN: The CIA denied that by the best way.

Lukashenko: CIA denies it? Oh, nicely, that’s their proper. They deny all the pieces. I do not insist, both. These 30 – or what number of, round 30 folks – as quickly as they crossed the Belarus- Russia border by street, on the checkpoint on the Berlin-Moscow freeway, our safety service, utilizing their very own sources, obtained data that 30 armed folks have been heading our method from the Russian Federation. So instantly, they have been on the radar of the Belarusian safety forces. I monitored this each hour, since you would agree that this can be a severe matter. So we monitored them, they tried to verify into one resort, then they checked into one other. So I acquired a report saying they’re in a resort. And I put this query to the top of the safety service. Can we watch them in Belarus, see what they will do, and why they got here right here? Can we hold all 30 of them underneath management? And I acquired an trustworthy reply, we are going to strive. However we won’t assure it. We can’t assure that we can’t lose a few of them. These folks have been armed, and I did not know why they have been right here. So I gave a private order to arrest all of them, at night time after they checked into the resort very close to right here. We detained all of them and put them in acceptable accommodating. There was no resistance, it was unimaginable to withstand. It was an excellent operation on the a part of our safety service. These are the identical guys, one among whom died the opposite day, he took half. So that they have been detained. After which there was an enormous scandal in Russia and Ukraine. I requested the prosecutors-general, as a result of each Russia and Ukraine requested us to extradite them. And I stated let the prosecutors-general of Russia and Ukraine come to Belarus, sit down and resolve along with our Prosecutor Basic who was to resolve on their extradition someplace. No person got here. Then I referred to as my eldest son, who was the president’s assistant on nationwide safety on the time. And I despatched him to the detention heart the place these folks have been held. He went there. I requested him, put one query to them as a result of no one appears to need them, neither Ukraine nor Russia. Ask them the place they wish to go. I noticed that these guys have been right here on any individual’s orders. He put this query to them, and he got here again saying: Dad, they wish to go to Russia. I stated, all of them? There have been six or so Ukrainian nationals amongst them. I stated, do all of them wish to go to Russia? – Sure. – Did you ask the Ukrainians? – They stated, solely Russia, the Ukrainians demanded to be taken to Russia. Okay, I stated, take a coach, put them on a coach and take them the place they wish to go. And so they stated, we wish to go to Russia. We wish to go to that place and that place in that place. He took them there. He gave them foods and drinks on the best way, they usually provided their apologies. They requested, and that is attention-grabbing, can we come to Belarus as vacationers sooner or later? And my son phoned me to ask this. I stated, we’re not going to ban anybody, however it’s essential to have good intentions while you come.

CNN: Thanks for giving me that account. There’s an allegation in Ukraine amongst opposition, anti-presidential anti-government figures in Ukraine, that the Belorussian authorities was tipped off by somebody greater within the Ukrainian authorities. You are telling me that is not the case. That is not what occurred. No person referred to as you from Ukraine and stated hear, check out these folks. That is not what occurred proper?

Lukashenko: Did CNN have some totally different data or a distinct view? Was it information to you, what I’ve simply stated?

CNN: No, no, I feel that confirms precisely what we, aside from the prosecutors, that your story suits with precisely what we have realized in our reporting. However there’s in Ukraine, there’s an allegation, a hearsay that you just have been tipped off, that the Belarus was tipped off by somebody greater up within the Ukrainian authorities. And I used to be asking you whether or not that was true or whether or not that was false. However you informed me that your particular companies noticed them.

Lukashenko: That is an absolute lie, Matthew. Neither the Ukrainian authorities, nor the President of Ukraine, or anyone else tipped me off. I used to be tipped off by my very own committee for state safety, which monitored the progress of those Wagner folks from the border to the resort, again. No person from Ukraine or Russia phoned me on this matter.

CNN: Thanks very a lot for clarifying that. It is rather attention-grabbing for us.

Lukashenko: Have we missed something, Matthew? You have been a bit agitated, dropped some gear. Perhaps we have missed some questions? You probably have any, I can reply them now.

CNN: I do not assume so I feel we coated all the pieces I wished to speak about. Perhaps that very last thing. I wish to speak concerning the new structure. Very briefly, that you’ve got been attempting to attract up and also you’re overseeing that course of. Are you assured there shall be, you are the primary president of Belarus. Do you assume there shall be a second president of Belarus?

Lukashenko: Not the ultimate query, solely final on this sequence.

Lukashenko: Are you saying they’ve invented a drug for immortality?

CNN: No I didn’t attempt to say that.

Lukashenko: Matthew, I swear, I’m not going to be president till I die. I swear. Every little thing will depend on the scenario in Belarus. When you and your patrons within the West, wherever they’re, cease interfering into our scenario, and we may be calm and assured as a sovereign unbiased nation and a individuals who deserves to be unbiased and sovereign, consider me, all the pieces will occur prior to you assume. However for those who dare to intervene into our affairs once more, like final yr, it is going to be dangerous, as dangerous as you assume – proper now.

CNN: You have been president now for I feel 27 years, is not it? When do you anticipate leaving the publish? When are you going to retire? How lengthy from now?

Lukashenko: Look, I’ve been serving, as you say, for 27 years on this workplace, serving my folks. However I have never reached the age of your Washington social gathering committee but. I feel your president is 88 years previous or quickly shall be 90. So let’s take the age of your Washington patron as our information. Why not? Don’t be concerned, I am not going to dwell that lengthy. The president can serve so long as he needs and so long as the folks need him to be president. However provided that he’s match and wholesome and able to operating the nation. It is not a straightforward scenario right here. So it could take an brisk, wholesome particular person, elected by the folks, and this particular person must wish to be president. These are the primary circumstances. I discussed one other: there must be peace and calm, in order to not destroy what I’ve constructed as the primary president of Belarus, as you say. However for those who assault us on a regular basis, throw bombs, deny us our personal say, our personal face and our independence, I shall be president perpetually. I’ll defend that which I created along with the Belarusian folks, on the value of my very own life if obligatory.

CNN: President Lukashenko, thanks very a lot for talking with us.

Lukashenko: Did you ask all the pieces you wished?

CNN: Every little thing.

Lukashenko: Thanks. You’re an attention-grabbing particular person to speak to. No, I stated YOU are an attention-grabbing particular person to speak to. Properly, Matthew, yours is a severe channel, we watch it at dwelling. My youngest son speaks excellent English, and he typically interprets it for me once we watch this channel. Please be goal, be extra trustworthy. The world is such a small place, it is a very small world. The planet is large, however it’s truly very small. And no matter our variations, we’ve to dwell collectively on this planet. So let’s be pals.

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