Topical national security issues were discussed at the session hosted by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko with the high-ranking officials of the State Secretariat of the Security Council of Belarus on 27 July.
The head of state reminded about the instruction to work out the system of work of the President with the Board of the Council of Ministers, the State Secretariat of the Security Council, other key organizations and authorities of Belarus. “The authorities and work of the Administration are clear. These are personnel issues, ideological work, legal issues, and control over the economic dimension. The government is the economic headquarters of the President. The State Secretariat is the power apparatus which informs the President about the performance of the entire power-wielding block in the country,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked.
He stressed that there will be regular meetings with such headquarters. The session hosted by the President focused on about a dozen topics, including important national security issues. Special attention was drawn to the organization of significant international events in Belarus.
The President spoke about the operation of the collective security system in the CSTO where Belarus is presiding right now. “They always want efficient chairmanship from Belarus. We need to discuss the state of affairs connected with the Belarusian chairmanship, the progress in our activities,” the head of state stressed. The session of the CSTO Collective Security Council which is scheduled for autumn should take a central place in a series of events held during Belarus’ chairmanship. The President was informed about the preparation of important documents.
During the meeting the head of state also spoke about the forthcoming Belarus-Russia joint army exercise Zapad 2017. “A lot has been said about it. I would like to listen to something new. The old issues such as the concerns of the NATO, neighbors, including Ukraine where I have recently been to, have been clarified to them,” the president stressed. “The exercise is open. We have invited a great number of observers. Zapad 2017 is a defensive exercise. We will traditionally hold this army exercise with the Russian Federation.”
The President was informed about the results of checks in border protection agencies and about the situation on the Belarusian-Russian border. He explained why the State Secretariat was instructed to carry out inspections in this sphere. “The answer is simple. Illegal migration and trade, drugs and other things,” the head of state said. He expressed an opinion that boarder guards are working hard. The number of apprehensions on the border increased by 30%.
The 2nd European Games received its fair share of attention during the meeting. The head of state was interested in whether there were any questions regarding the forthcoming hosting of the prestigious international competition. Alexander Lukashenko pointed out that the Belarusian capital city will become an international sport epicenter in that period. A lot of foreign guests from European countries and other foreign states will arrive in Minsk. Security considerations represent part of the preparations for the European Games. “Belarus should worthily host the 2nd European Games in 2019,” the President stressed.
The participants of the meeting also discussed the state of affairs in law enforcement. According to Alexander Lukashenko, the optimization of power-wielding agencies is of fundamental importance. “We will determine personnel numbers, the expenses required for specific areas, and will make adjustments this year,” the head of state said. Optimization will still be required in the future, but it will be up to the heads of the law enforcement agencies to take care of it, the President believes. “We will just keep an eye on the matter and encourage optimization efforts. But not at the top level and not on the scale of the country the way we are doing it now,” Alexander Lukashenko remarked.
Apart from that, the President was informed about the performance of all law enforcement bodies in H1. According to State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislav Zas, all government bodies in charge of ensuring national security has been working well in H1.
The head of state spoke about the implementation of Directive No. 1 “Concerning measures to strengthen public security and discipline”.
According to the President, discipline is number one priority. When comparing the situation in Belarus with the situation in other countries, the president pointed out the importance of the fact that “people live in a calm and safe environment where the government responds to people’s demands.”
“Discipline is a corner stone,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced. “I cannot say that we have done everything in this field. Therefore, discipline is number one priority. It especially depends on power-wielding bodies, on the attitude of the military.” The meeting focused on the organization of joint patrolling by the military and policemen who will maintain public order in populated areas.
Besides, Alexander Lukashenko instructed law enforcement bodies to take a closer look at the harvesting campaign.