Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Lukashenka: I wouldn’t be President but for Gorbachev and thaw


A journalist from Saint Petersburg asked: "Do you miss the USSR?"

"I do not only miss it –I am a Soviet person. I grew up in that country. It was enough for me. They even wanted to exclude me from the party. I was reprimanded twice! But they did not mention it in my card, Radzkou (deputy head of the President’s Administration now) found it later," the Belarusian President replied.

Lukashenka compared modern Belarus to the Soviet Union: "The system is not much better now. You can insult the President and bark in dark corners and get away with it."

The Belarusian leader also added: "We have created some card that can be used for paying for dinners at school and for paying the fare. I think it’s a Belarusbank card."

Lukashenka mentioned the part that Gorbachev played in his political career: "But for Gorbachev and that thaw… I meet Gorbachev from time to time and even accuse him. But I would not be President now but for him! However, this is a minor thing in comparison with the collapse of the Soviet Union."