Belarus not to choose between West and East, not to be one's appendix

MINSK, November 27 (Itar-Tass) -- Belarus will not choose between the West and the East and will not be "anyone's appendix", Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

He said this would be his policy if he won the upcoming presidential election on December 19.

His election programme entitled "From Preservation to Growth" was published in the Sovetskaya Byelorussia on Saturday, November 27.

But it contains only a few sentences on foreign policy. Lukashenko promises to continue "building independent and original Belarus".

"Belarus has its own worthy place in Europe and the world," he said.

The president focused mainly on internal problems, primarily socio-economic development and promised to "create a new face of the Belarusian economy."

"At least 100 big investment projects will be implemented in the country in the next five years," he said, adding that "agriculture will become a profit-making business", and food export will more than double to seven billion U.S. dollars a year.

The country will also move "from an economy of directives to an economy of initiatives."

Lukashenko promised to organise trial by jury, "strengthen the national currency", make "a breakthrough in informatisation", "ensure world class health care" and "build 10 million square metres of housing a year."

"Every family with four and more children will get a flat from the government" and families with three children will be paid compensation of 75 percent of the cost of housing, he said.


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