Lukashenko closes language issue in Belarus
MINSK. April 19 (Interfax) - The language issue in the country has been closed, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said, adding that losing the Russian language means "losing one's mind."
"I have noticed that we have this language issue again. I asked you not to raise this issue anymore. It is closed in Belarus. We have two state languages. Two! Russian and Belarusian," Lukashenko said in his annual Address to the people and parliament of Belarus on Friday.
"Soul is invested" in the Russian language in Belarus, he said. "It is our common heritage. If someone wants to lose one's mind, they will lose the Russian language. If they want to lose their heart, they will lose the Belarusian language," the president said.
"What do you want to lose, your mind or your heart?" Lukashenko said, rhetorically.
Lukashenko earlier said people in Russia do not understand the problem with the situation with the national language in the republic, saying that the current situation "can explode elementarily" and called on people to stop talking about promoting "the Russian world."