Elections in Belarus 2015

Lukashenka urges dissident Nobel laureate to use image, legacy for ‘benefit of Belarus’


President Alyaksandr Lukashenka voiced his attitude towards the fact that the Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich had been awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“I am glad for her because she is a citizen of Belarus. The award means that regardless of your standing you can still work and create, write, speak your mind and so on in Belarus,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka as saying.

Read also: Nobel laureate Alexievich wants to ‘buy freedom’ for prize money

According to him, Svetlana Alexievich is not a member of the opposition.

“It is good that a person has his or her own views albeit opposition ones in some way,” he said. “She has written good books. She has the style. I have nothing against it. Even her early works such as War’s Unwomanly Face were supported by the Soviet government,” the Belarusian leader said.

At the same time, Lukashenka does expect much of the first Belarusian Nobel laureate.

“How you are going to handle this legacy is the most important thing now. If you are a citizen of Belarus, it is your land, your state whether you like it or not, but today you are a person that flies high. Let’s see how you use this image, this legacy for the benefit of your people,” he stressed.

After persecution by Lukashenka regime, Alexievich left Belarus in 2000. The International Cities of Refuge Network offered her sanctuary and during the following decade she lived in Paris, Berlin and Gothenburg. In 2011 Alexievich moved back to Minsk.

Read also: Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich: I wonder how Lukashenka will get out of situation

Belsat.eu, following BelTA