MINSK, September 9 (Itar-Tass) —— Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has called impermissible the political demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“We have a plan [of economic stabilization] and it coincides with the IMF recommendations in some points. If this is so, the IMF must acknowledge it and give us help. If they do not want to help, there must be no misleading talk. And they are already demanding the release of political prisoners!” he said.
“What does that have to do with the IMF? What prisoners are you talking about? Your area is finance and economics, and you set this release as your first condition,” Lukashenko said. “They have exposed their real nature. They demand the release of prisoners and, at the same time, talk about independent courts. What independence is it when they interfere in court issues?”
In the opinion of Lukashenko, there is no democracy in the West and the latter “should learn democracy from Belarus.” “Now they are taking advantage of the currency market problems and trying to smother us,” he said.
Belarus will remain independent and sovereign no matter what it takes, he said. “Everyone smells blood: the Belarusians are down to their knees and they must be crushed, their plants must be taken, their people must be enslaved and some currency must be introduced. They can’t do it,” he said.
The Belarusian authorities are fulfilling the economic stabilization program, he said. “If certain points of this program coincide with the IMF recommendations, that’s perfect. But Belarus is following its own course, including that in privatization. This privatization differs from the one offered by the West and Russia. We are not holding a shock policy in our privatization; our privatization will meet the interests of the state,” the president said.
“They want Belarus to make a market economy immediately. True, all of us live by the market rules, and we cannot live differently – Belarus has no oil and gas of its own. But everything must be done calmly,” he said.