In an announcement on 29 October 2010, the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, confirmed he has no intention to privatise the country's state-owned national PTO. 'Beltelecom should remain in public ownership as an alternative to know what's happening in the industry. If we give you in private hands, we will not see the position of the state. Beltelecom must work harder to keep up with private owners. We will own you, but you are still operating worse than the foreign companies,' Lukashenko said The Belarusian leader noted however, that it is vital to increase the profitability of the national operator.