The Belarusian president stated that there are many abandoned sites in Belarus that could be used for cryptocurrency mining.

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian President, has asked that the government mine cryptocurrency using spare power infrastructure.

Lukashenko spoke at the opening of the Petrikovsky mining and processing plant on Aug. 27, urging workers to move into crypto mining in Belarus instead of pursuing low-paying farming positions abroad, Russian news agency RBC reported.

According to the president, Belarus has sufficient electricity resources to support cryptocurrency mining. He also pointed out abandoned industrial sites that could generate revenue. Lukashenko stated:

Officially, the Petrikovsky plant represents the largest investment project by state-owned Belaruskali. It is also one of the biggest potash fertilizer producers in the world, accounting for 20% as of 2019. The sole Belarusian potash exporter, Belaruskali was sanctioned by the United States government in mid-August, among other punitive measures against President Lukashenko.

Lukashenko’s recent call for crypto mining comes after multiple attempts by the Belarusian government in order to get into the rapidly growing cryptocurrency mining sector. In February, the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus said that it was investigating the risks and benefits of crypto mining for a potential move into the sector. In April 2019, Lukashenko proposed to deploy excess energy from the country’s first nuclear power plant to mine cryptocurrencies and sell them.