“No need to be sorry”: why Minsk refused from nuclear weapons

«Не надо сожалеть»: почему Минск отказался от ядерного оружияOne of the signatories of the Belavezha accords, the first head of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich 15 Dec celebrates 85 years. On how he assesses his political legacy, about his attitude to nuclear Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko and Russia, Shushkevich told “Газете.Ru”.

— In addition to your anniversary this year is another memorable date in 1994 and ended your term at the head of Belarus. How do you assess his leadership?

— Then at the Supreme Council we had a party-appointed majority. I became the President of the Supreme court because I strongly opposed the putsch, because I knew Gennady Yanayev (Vice-President of the USSR, one of the leaders of the coup in August 1991. — “Газета.Ru”) and knew the habits of Mikhail Gorbachev.

I argued strongly, and as the former head (Nicholas dementey. — “Газета.Ru”) supported the putsch, he resigned.

I became the acting, and in two weeks became Chairman and two-and-a-half years was the first officer of the Republic of Belarus. But I had not, in General, no power, I could not even appoint a Deputy without the permission of deputies, most of whom were members of the Communist party.

But I managed to do two things. I signed all the documents for the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belarus, which was his hostage. Second — I signed the Belavezha accords [of the defunct Soviet Union],

which Russia for the first time since 1794 recognized the independence of Belarus.

— You mentioned the withdrawal from Belarus of the nuclear weapons of the Soviet Union, but today there are voices that probably ought to leave it in the Republic.

— In the Belovezhskaya Pushcha I first said that we unconditionally agree to withdraw nuclear weapons. We had complexes that could potentially destroy the whole of Europe. But to maintain nuclear weapons in working order is extremely expensive. And the components that should be replaced were manufactured in Russia. And that we had to maintain nuclear weapons against Russia and asking her components to maintain it in fighting condition?

I want to say that only idiots who don’t understand what a nuclear weapon can say that. And even if the residents say that we could them someone to threaten, as does Korea, [they] do not see one. That we went against Russia with nuclear weapons? I can’t find words in normal vocabulary to describe those who can so put the question.

I do not swear ever, but I’d like to say to those people, who regret that nuclear weapons were taken out. In particular, our [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko stated that it was wrongly made.

— About the signing of an agreement on denunciation of the USSR in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is mentioned a lot. But I wanted to ask you, if the Union Treaty is ready, signed to his Minsk?

— It was absolutely clear, and it was the omission of Gorbachev. When the first Congress of people’s deputies of the USSR, and I was a member, raised the question of how to move to the soft Union Treaty, Gorbachev wanted to be the undisputed ruler. He suggested to the Vice-President Yanayev, who could not even correctly identify the subject of his thesis.

A very good answer about what happened in Belovezhskaya Pushcha was given in the Swedish diplomatic correspondence. One of the diplomats wrote: “the Belovezhsky agreement establishing the CIS is a legitimate masterpiece of the diplomacy of the end of the second Millennium”. It is better to praise impossible.

— How do you evaluate what is happening in Belarus? You — a tough opponent of Lukashenko, but do you see in his actions an attempt to protect the state?

— He cares only about maintaining power of his clan. The path to prosperity is through democratic reforms. The Kremlin supports Lukashenko, and so Russia recognizes the elections that occur in Belarus, but the whole of the EU since 1996, does not recognize them.

Lukashenko will not care about anything except their power. He brought the country to handle and we started with better conditions than Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. And today are worse off than these countries.

But, agreeing with many negative evaluations, we Russians see the smooth roads of Belarus, Minsk, European, quality products.

But it has always been, and is not the result of Lukashenka’s rule. You need to compare Mogilev, Grodno and Brest region — you will see the difference. Slightly improved the case in the Mogilev region, Lukashenko origin, but not in other areas. Yes, we have always had better roads than in Russia, but Russia is too big, and in Russia, too, has excellent roads.

I want to tell you that I am a Russophile, my wife is Russian, but I don’t like today’s Russian government, which supports Lukashenko in bad endeavors.

I think the Russian authorities time to think again.

We would like ask you about the Union of Russia and Belarus. Talking about him for more than 20 years, but still nothing. How this Union can ever take place?

— The Union is absolutely necessary, and the Federal government is the seat for the slackers and incompetents because no project no.

Lukashenka has no concept of science, politics, he does not know the state of the control. He Soviet-style poses a challenge to the Ministers and said that the cadres decide everything. But does not solve all the frames, and the laws, and he does not understand.

You, as a nuclear physicist, was part of a Commission for liquidation of the Chernobyl accident. This topic was again discussed in the press in connection with the publication of the series “Chernobyl”. Have you watched it?

— I purposely have not watched this series because I was very often invited to give lectures about what Chernobyl I specifically have not watched this movie, not to succumb to emotional impressions. I have scientific understanding of what happened.

In Chernobyl to blame the people who exploited the Soviet Chernobyl reactor (RBMK reactor of large capacity channel, the series developed in the USSR nuclear power reactors. — “Газета.Ru”). Small omissions were people like [President of the USSR, a nuclear physicist Anatoly] and Alexandrov [a member of the governmental Commission on liquidation of consequences of the Chernobyl accident, Valery] Legasov.

Aleksandrov made a bad comparison, saying that the reactor is as safe as a samovar on red square. The reactor was not supposed to explode, but exploited his Soviet-style: squeeze what you can.

I am familiar with the American system of surveillance of the reactor, and if there is a question how to increase the capacity by one percent, there sits a large group of scientists that explores all the possible consequences. But we had people who decided to run the reactor, “Soviet-style”. Even more damage is caused Gorbachev, in his speech on 14 may 1986, when all calmed (referring to Gorbachev’s speech in which he said that the “worst is over”. — “Газета.Ru”).

— Can you not ask about the Minsk agreement. Minsk became a place of signing, and Belarus — a meeting place for Kiev and breakaway republics — DNI and LC. Do you believe that they will be able to come to peace in Ukraine?

— No need to look anywhere else is to blame — rather be [Russian President] Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to stop supplying weapons to the Donbass, and it will be much better than the “Normandy four” Minsk agreements (Moscow insists that it is not a party to domestic conflict, has no militia of Donbass material and technical assistance, as well as not supplying weapons to the conflict zone and does not send its military. — “Газета.Ru”).

I sympathize with [former President of Ukraine, Chairman of the contact group on Donbass Leonid] Kuchma, has repeatedly talked with him on the subject. I see no clearance after the Paris meeting actually agreed on another meeting (on 9 December, the leaders of the “Normandy four” met in Paris. — “Газета.Ru”).

Despite his advanced age, you’re in good shape, what’s the recipe for your longevity?

— I agree with [former British Prime Minister Winston] Churchill, who never played sports. Me too, but always engaged in physical activity, doing something, did it, moved. But now power I have a Hilo. However, fate is favorable to me and the fourth time, if you make it, I will celebrate the New year in Mexico.


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