Aleksandr Lukashenko holds session to approve resolution on protecting Belarus’ state border

    President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to ensure reliable countering emerging challenges and threats. The head of state made the statement at the government session held on 1 February to approve the resolution on protecting the state border of Belarus in 2013.

    According to the President, border security matters had been discussed repeatedly in various formats. “They have been triggered by the anti-Belarusian policy of sanctions pursued by the West, provocations at the border, as well as the aggravation of border protection problems. All of it requires special attention and serious analysis of the existing system for protecting our borders,” the head of state said. “The situation regarding the latest violation of the state border necessitated no-nonsense personnel decisions. I have also given relevant instructions to improve the border protection system and improve interagency cooperation in this field”.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that special attention had been drawn to working out measures to improve the performance of the border committee and now is the time to review the fulfillment of these instructions.

    The head of state noted that since not only the State Border Committee protects the state border, the majority of national security agencies are involved, it is the heads of these agencies that had been invited for the session. The head of state said he wanted reports about what had been done and what has yet to be done to reliably counter emerging challenges and threats, reports about the development of border protection bodies and the effectiveness of using their forces and means. “What practical measures to improve the protection of the state border, especially in the air space, have been taken by other government agencies? What problems have yet to be addressed and how?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

    The head of state stressed that he expected participants of the session to come up with an objective evaluation of the mechanism worked out last year to enable cooperation between all the agencies involved in guarding the state border.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also commented on some speculations in the border service. “You know what the state border means for me. It is possibly true that once you are a military man, you will always stay one. I am a former border guard. And it means a lot. It is what shapes my personal attitude to the border service and border guards,” the head of state said. “Therefore, some talks, which, I am told, circulate in the border service, claiming that allegedly the present head of the border service is far from the President, are total nonsense”.

    The President stressed that the Chairman of the State Border Committee can directly contact the President at any time. “He knows it and I ask you to deliver the information to your officers. For me Colonel Alexander Boyechko is just another officer like all the previous heads of the border service. Everyone sitting at this table, ministers and top-ranking officials, have the same connection to the President,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

    “I would like all the border guards that protect and defend our country to hear it,” the head of state said.

    “This is why all these water-cooler conversations should stop and the border guards should do their job, patrolling the uttermost meters of our land, proudly protecting the peace and calm of the Belarusian nation. It is our everyday task and the nation should rest assured that we will accomplish it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

    At the end of the government session the head of state approved the resolution on the protection of the state border of Belarus in 2013. The bulk of the border protection efforts will be focused on outside risks and challenges. Several new approaches will be used in the organization of the state border protection and the usage of available means and forces.

    “In view of the past violations of the state border the head of state set concrete tasks to address the drawbacks. We will work on it in 2013,” Alexander Boyechko said.

    The President was also informed about the organization of inter-agency cooperation, including with the Armed Forces. In 2012 all interaction matters were set forth by the legal act. This pertains to border protection in air domain together with Air Forces and Air Defense Forces, the use of subdivisions of the Armed Forces to enhance protection of the state border.

    In 2012 daily official activities of the border service were aimed at pursuing the state border policy, ensuring the border security of Belarus, and addressing tasks concerning the protection of state economic interests within the competence of the service. The year 2012 saw a 7.8% increase in passenger traffic, with over 29 million people crossing the border. Cargo vehicle traffic rose by 14%, with 9.7 million cargo vehicles crossing the border.

    Independently and in association with law enforcement agencies 14 organizers and abettors of illegal transit migration were seized as well as 318 illegal migrants, who violated the border. As many as 9,300 potential illegal migrants were detected.

    As far as the protection of economic interests is concerned, the state border service suppressed the operation of four organized criminal groups, who were specialized in the illegal transfer of extremely large amounts of material assets across the border. A total of 2,200 cases of the illegal transfer of material assets worth Br78.4 billion were detected. The state border service detected and suppressed nine channels of drugs trafficking, with over 95kg of narcotic substances and 6.4kg of psychotropic substances seized. As many as 142 illegal weapons were seized as well as nearly 5,000 rounds of ammunition and 3.5kg of explosives.