[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
President Lukashenko: in quotes
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
President Lukashenko has been dubbed "Europe's last dictator"
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who celebrates 10 years in power on 10 July, has come in for criticism at home and abroad for his authoritarian rule and record on human rights. BBC Monitoring looks back at some of the controversial things he has said.

The history of Germany is a copy of the history of Belarus. Germany was raised from the ruins thanks to firm authority, and not everything connected with that well known figure, Adolf Hitler, was bad. German order evolved over the centuries and under Hitler it attained its peak.

Russian NTV television, November 1995.

In my view this is not democracy, but a zoo [Mr Lukashenko is responding to his chilly reception at the European economic forum in Crans Montana in 1998]... It was exactly what we expected, but not on that scale nor in that form. In a word, it was nothing but a zoo, you can't put it better.

Belarusian television, June 1998

I regard [Yugoslav leader Slobodan] Milosevic as a legally elected president... He was elected by his people. It is a friendly state. And if Milosevic needs help and support, we will always give him this support. But I don't think that it will go that far. The West has declared many people criminal, all those who disagreed with it were declared criminals by democracy. So were we.

Belarusian TV, June 1999

What human rights can you talk about after Yugoslavia? I don't mean to offend the West, I'm just using this subject to illustrate my point. What kind of human rights issues, what kind of US interests are there in the Balkans?... Why did they bomb the country, causing millions of dollars in damage? What kind of rights can you talk about? And now they start lecturing Russia. This is absurd... this is an internal affair.

Belarusian radio, April 2000

Clinton's decision [to suspend trade preferences for Belarus] is not Clinton's decision, but it's those rambling guys [the opposition] who hang around all those palaces, residences... They will never be in power here, not because I do not want it, but because they will never be elected by the people, because they are incapable of anything but making a fuss, or taking handouts from the West.

Belarusian TV, July 2000

There will be no Kostunica [head of the Yugoslav anti-Milosevic opposition] in Belarus. No way! This must be clear to you and to all those who count on it... People know I will protect myself, I will not sit in a bunker like Milosevic. I am not afraid of anybody, I have stolen nothing from my people and I will protect myself.

Belarusian television, July 2001

They defended swindlers and rogues. Western envoys rushed to Belarus, bringing in equipment and money. The aim was to undermine the situation, to split society, to sow hatred on religious, ethnic or ideological grounds, and finally to destroy our state sovereignty. These are all techniques of controlled crises, the scenarios of which are worked out by Western special services, while the opposition is a bargaining chip in their plans.

Belarusian radio, September 2001

Tell me, in what way have we not pleased our neighbour Poland?... The Americans have started exerting pressure through Poland. Just look: where have hi-tech devices to monitor Belarusian territory been installed? In Poland... From whose territory is our country being showered with untrue information? From Poland... Poland has become a bridgehead from which the invasion of the former Soviet Union advances.

Belarusian radio, September 2001

I am confident that the Europeans will come crawling to Belarus to ask for co-operation in the fight against drugs trafficking and illegal migration. Because this is their most sensitive issue at the moment. So they cannot do without our co-operation or our support. Another thing, unless they pay we shall not defend Europe from these flows of migrants. They created this problem in Afghanistan.

Belarusian television, November 2002

Pressure is currently being put on Belarus through weapons of mass destruction, there is no other name for them, that is, the mass media. The mass media are weapons of mass destruction today, the most powerful ones.

Belarusian television, June 2003

They tell me: you are a dictator. Am I a dictator? My position and the state will never allow me to become a dictator... But an authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me, and I have always admitted it. Why? We could spend hours talking about this. You need to control the country, and the main thing is not to ruin people's lives.

Belarusian radio, August 2003

I have warned the opposition: if you take the situation in the country to the point of absurdity and create conditions for instability and uncontrollability, this will be the first reason for me to urgently start looking for ways to extend my presidential tenure.

Belarusian radio, August 2003

Are you asking me whether I am going to run for a third term? If that is what you are asking, I will tell you right away: I have no right to stand for a third term, unless the people say in a referendum: Yes, we permit Lukashenko to stand again. Our constitution forbids this. A referendum is the only way.

Belarusian radio, August 2003

We cannot accept the insolence of European officials who, along with a handful of oppositionists, want to teach Belarus a lesson for its stubbornness.

Belarusian radio, July 2004

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

Belarus leader sacks PM
10 Jul 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Belarus
15 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Gas deal in bitter Belarus row
19 Feb 04  |  Europe
Visit for young Chernobyl victims
11 Jun 04  |  Guernsey

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific