MINSK, 1 Dec – The damage to Belarus from Western sanctions is negligible against the background of ensuring economic growth in the country, said the head of the Belarusian state Alexander Lukashenko in an interview
According to official statistics, in January – October 2021, the republic’s GDP grew by 2.4% compared to the same period last year. At the end of November, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of Belarus Dmitry Krutoy said that the pandemic and Western sanctions have an impact on economic growth in the country, but “if you look at all indicators in general, quantitative and qualitative, these are the best results over the past 12 years.” He drew attention to the fact that about 70% of GDP growth was provided by industry, exports grew by 32%, which is also one of the record figures for Belarus, and there is a rather low level of stocks.
“I cannot say any figures of this damage. We are trying to minimize (the impact of sanctions – ed.). Naturally, we are losing something. But compared to how we worked this year, this is minuscule. and I do not instruct you to count, because it will be more expensive to count, “Lukashenka said.
According to him, enterprises in Belarus were not closed during the pandemic. “The economy was not stopped, and we were lucky in that regard,” Lukashenka said, explaining that Belarusian producers got a chance to develop supplies of their products to foreign markets while other countries announced a lockdown.
“Lockdown was announced and so on, but we have consumer goods (produced – ed.) … And when there was a stop, a recession in Russia, Belarus worked, and we offered to this market, you did not even notice, by and large. we had a huge market and a huge opportunity to sell our products. This continued this year as well. That is, the export went well. Therefore, we have a good year, “the president emphasized.
“This helps us to minimize these losses from sanctions,” Lukashenka stated.
Relations between Minsk and the West deteriorated sharply after the presidential elections in Belarus in the fall of 2020, in which Lukashenka won for the sixth time. The Belarusian authorities have repeatedly stated that the opposition protests in the country are being coordinated from abroad. Lukashenko accused the West of direct interference in the situation in the republic, noted that the unrest is directed by the United States, and the Europeans “play along” with it. The European Union, Great Britain, USA, Canada and a number of other countries gradually introduced sanctions against Belarusian officials, as well as enterprises, accusing Minsk of election violations and human rights violations.
Earlier, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko said that Belarus could take painful retaliatory measures against countries that have taken a hostile position towards it, from an embargo on the import of goods to restricting transit through its territory. On behalf of Lukashenka, the government prepared a set of protective measures and measures to minimize the impact of sanctions. The head of the foreign policy department of the republic, Vladimir Makei, said that the government of Belarus has developed and structured responses to Western sanctions in various areas in the economy and politics.