Aleksandr Lukashenko appoints new chairman of State Border Committee

    President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko appointed Colonel Alexander Boyechko Chairman of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

    Colonel Aleksei Zagorodniy has been appointed First Deputy Chairman of the State Border Committee – head of the main operation department.

    Major-General Andrei Gorulko has been relieved of the post of First Deputy Chairman of the State Border Committee - head of the main operation department for improper discharge of official duties in ensuring the national security of the Republic of Belarus.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that it has been a mistake to let the State Border Committee focus on border policy, rather than its direct duty to protect the state border. "The State Border Committee insisted on that. However, it did not mean that they no longer had to protect the border. It was wrong to let them turn from the military men into politicians. Their major goal is to protect the border," the President said.

    The head of state commented on his recent decisions. "As for the recent decisions, including personnel decisions, there should not be much fuss about it. Quite the opposite, the punishment was too lenient. In the times of the Soviet Union these people would be put in prison. Most of the blame does to border guards, because the border guard unit detected the plane, but the order to punish the border trespassers did not go through," the President said.

    "Violations of the border should not be left unpunished. They should be prevented tooth and nail, including with the use of weapons. Border guards should prove their loyalty to the Homeland. You know my personal attitude to border guards, and I will never let anyone mar the image of border troops, after all, my children and I served there," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    "An insider, an outsider, the one close to the President – all this is idle talk. Professional or unprofessional is the only criterion to evaluate the work of border guards," the head of state added.

    When speaking about Alexander Boyechko appointed Chairman of the State Border Committee, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that he is a border guard and knows the situation in the border troops from inside.

    "Protection of the state border is the number one task for border guards. International relations and other matters are secondary. Belarusian border guards should not run about Europe in search of funds, it should be Europeans who should come to you and ask to protect their borders. We should prioritize our own interests. Any provocation should meet an adequate response on our part," the President emphasized.