It should be reminded that Russian received the status of the second state language in Belarus in 1995, when amendments were made to the Constitution.
- We have no confrontation with the Russians. We have never had interethnic strife. But we always wanted to be Belarusians. And in general, what our language has been squeezed out of us is squeezing out our culture. There is no threat over the Russian language. And the state language should be one - Belarusian, because it no longer has a homeland, - Shushkevich explained his position in an interview with the Youtube channel "And Graham Burst".
According to Shushkevich, the transition to Belarusian as the only state will not go quickly. He called this transition "rather difficult and lengthy".
The former head of the Supreme Council of Belarus also said that the president of the republic, Alexander Lukashenko, is illiterate and speaks poorly both Russian and Belarusian.
Earlier, Lukashenko accused the opposition of seeking to sever ties between Minsk and Moscow.
- They don't speak openly, but the creeping prohibition of the Russian language. The concept of criminal liability for insulting the Belarusian language is being introduced, the president said, suggesting that the opposition intends to translate the army into Belarusian and introduce education in Belarusian from kindergartens to universities until 2023.
In turn, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov called the program of the Belarusian opposition "unconstructive", noting "the displacement of Russian and the introduction of a largely artificial Belarusian language in all spheres of life".