9 Jan 2023 13:23

Lukashenko says hoping Belarus, Russia establish Union State's media holding in 2023

MINSK. Jan 9 (Interfax) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has expressed hope for the establishment of an independent media holding of the Belarus-Russia Union State in 2023, as agreed by the two presidents.

"I'd like to remind you once again of our common decision, that of the presidents of Belarus and Russia, to establish a fine, solid, potent and absolutely modern [media holding]. Or else we will spend the money to no avail. I am not supporting any attachments or handovers. We need an independent, up-to-date holding. [...] I think the media holding should start working this year, preferably, in the first half of the year," Lukashenko said at a meeting with State Secretary of the Union State Dmitry Mezentsev in Minsk on Monday.

The media holding "should be autonomous, independent, if we want to make something serious and finalize the 28 programs we have defined," he said.

"For some reason, press secretaries of Belarus and Russia have withdrawn from this work and left you to do it alone (although no such things are done alone)," the presidential press service quoted Lukashenko as telling Mezentsev.

In addition, Lukashenko supported calls for de-bureaucratization of the Union State's ruling bodies. "I view as completely acceptable and I like the proposal that the activity of the Permanent Committee be de-bureaucratized (you are officials, in the first turn), so that you, the Permanent Committee, send the principal messages and impulses towards de-bureaucratization of the system associated with the work of Union State bodies," he said.

Lukashenko proposed the establishment of a media holding of the Union State of Russia and Belarus at a meeting of the Union State's Supreme State Council on November 4, 2021. Mezentsev said in December 2021 that it was planned to establish the media holding by the end of 2022.