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Orsha District Executive Committee
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6 October 2021

Kochanova: Ukrainians have always been our kith and kin

On 6 October Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova met with Ukrainian politicians Aleksandr Moroz, Aleksei Berezhnoi and Vasily Tsushko, BelTA has learned.

“I am sincerely glad to welcome you to the Council of the Republic. This meeting is important for us and I believe it will be interesting for you. Ukraine has always been a close neighbor for us; our countries have a long history of friendly, kinship relations. The Ukrainian people have always been our kith and kin. There is no doubt about that, and it is really so. You know that we have always welcomed our good-neighborly relations and the support at high-level and highest-level meetings in international organizations. Today, these relations have been put on hold, unfortunately, at the initiative of the Ukrainian side. Nevertheless, our cooperation in trade, economy, culture, and most importantly, public diplomacy remained intact. It's the most important thing. The Belarusian people wish well to the Ukrainians, and the Ukrainians are also kind to the Belarusians. There is no doubt about that. I am sure that the current situation is temporary and common sense will prevail,” Natalya Kochanova said.

According to her, this visit will allow the Ukrainian politicians to study the real state of affairs in our country. “Certain events that took place in Belarus last year cannot but worry us today. And you know the reaction of some countries to this situation. But it is better not to hear, but to see with one's own eyes what is really happening. Therefore, thank you for coming here to see how our country is doing economically and politically. I know that you have already visited Vitebsk Oblast. I am glad that you will also tour Minsk and Minsk Oblast. We are ready to answer all questions that you will ask. We are open. And I think that you will communicate the true information about our country to sensible people who are many in Ukraine. I'm just sure about that. Public diplomacy is very important. People come, we exchange opinions. There are many sister cities; cooperation agreements were signed between them before and these agreements are really implemented,” the speaker noted.

“Thank you so much for hosting us. To be honest, when we were making plans to visit Belarus, we did not expect to meet with the country's top leadership. Implementing the idea of ​​public diplomacy, we wanted to see how people live on the ground, what they do, what the public life is in Belarus, how the manufacturing industry is doing. In fact we don't have enough objective information, to put it mildly. Yesterday we visited three factories in Vitebsk Oblast, met with people, talked about the situation there. Good order on the premises caught my eye,” Aleksandr Moroz said.

The Ukrainian politician is sure that all this demonstrates the love of Belarusians for their land and testifies to the high culture of people.

“We believe that people should communicate using public diplomacy, so that everyone makes their own conclusions,” Aleksandr Moroz told journalists. “Today, about 106,000 Ukrainians work in Belarus, and this fact speaks louder than words. People look for a place where they can have a job and good prospects. Belarus has a solid social security system, and this should be appreciated. We want Ukrainians not to run away from their country. Using public diplomacy instruments, we can explain to people how they can change their lives. I am sure that much that is being done in Belarus will be useful to us,” he said.

The Ukrainian politician added: “My conversation with you will be disapproved by many in Ukraine, but I do not seek to please everyone. I am talking about what I have seen here: concrete examples and ways to make people's lives better. I love Ukraine, I am a real patriot, and I want our children and grandchildren to want to live there.”

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