Lithuanian journalist: "I didn't believe some Lukashenka's answers

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Ahead of his visit to Alexander Lukashenka's visit to Lithuania, Rita Miliute and Edmundas Jakilaitis, the journalists from Lietuvos ryto TV channel talked with the Belarusian president. Edmundas Juakilaitis shared with the European Radio for Belarus how Lukashenka reacted to the questions about the disappeared Belarusian politicians his personal life and whether the journalist believed all the answers. Euroradio: Did the questions that you had prepared for an interview with Lukashenka go through any kind of censorship at the Office of the President or his press service?

EJ: “No. We did not send our questions to the press office. We had only agreed the topics with my colleague Rita Miliute from Lithuania's national TV, and she sent several ideas for our conversation with the president of Belarus. We never send questions for approval as this is a bad practice for a journalist”.

Euroradio: "Did the Belarusian side not even express wishes that all the questions be passed beforehand?

EJ: “No. In my view, if this ever happens, it happens with the Belarusian press only. It is impossible to do such a thing with the Lithuanian press, and they did not even try to do it. We were told by the press secretary that we could ask anything. So we asked about anything: politics, his son, women, sports. At times, he would become emotiomal, at times -- businesslike. Interview was... hot, I would say. Instead of one hour, we talked for one hour and fifty minutes”.

Euroradio:
“Were there questions that you had initially put down but later decided not to ask or any topics you refused from in the last moment?

EJ:
“There were not. On the contrary, he himself began talking on some topics like the tragic events on January 13, 1991. He said that he was one of Belarus MPs who were on their way to support Lithuania. Immediately, we asked why people like Gen. Usopchyk who reportedly had ordered to shoot to kill. There were also other question about his son, his wife and his mistress and other questions that he answered. We also asked about Russia, the European Union and many many other questions”.

Euroradio: “On Gen. Uladizmir Usopchyk, he served as Belarus deputy defense minister after the 1991 events. Responding to your question, Lukashenka said that he had no official reports about the crimes of the general in Lithuania. Did you believe his answer?”

EJ:
“Personally, i did not believe, because this question was posed to the president many times. He has heared about it. But I can't say if he read the materials of the Lithuanan prosecutor's office”.

Euroradio:
“What answers did you get to the questions why Lukashenka did not live with his spouse? What was the answer about his mistresses?”

EJ: “He hinted that he has not showed up with his wife because of her appearance, as far as I understand. He said that he did like to take women, because that's how his life turned out that he did not see much sense in it”.

Euroradio: “Was his son Kolya present during the interview?”

EJ: “No. The president said that he was in a kindergarten. But he said that he would take Kolya along to Lithuania. We know that his son will walk with his nunny or something. Concerning whether Kolya would be present at the meeting with Dalia Grybauskaite, he said he had to agree on that with the president because he does not take along uninvited guests”.