Aleksandr Lukashenko holds session to discuss operation of national security agencies

    Prospects and shortcomings in the operation of the State Security Committee (KGB) were discussed at the government session held by President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko to discuss some aspects of the operation of national security agencies.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is a planned meeting and it will be held regularly from now on. Today we will talk about the State Security Committee, its problems, prospects, and shortcomings if there are any,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    The head of state reminded that tasks and main areas of the operation of state security agencies were discussed at a session of the KGB board early in 2012. Back then the President drew attention to several problems, including problems in personnel handling. Aleksandr Lukashenko said he wanted to learn how the relevant decisions and instructions were implemented, whether the problems had been resolved. He said he wanted to know about the personnel and ideology work in the KGB system. “All of us understand that people are the key value for us. Concrete results depend on whether a team is professional, smoothly operating and goal-oriented. It is twice as true for such a power-wielding agency like the KGB,” stressed the President.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that overdoing the military spirit in the state security system was out of the question: “It is inacceptable as well as nervousness, god forbid, intimidation that stifles creative attitudes to one’s work and breeds passivity and indifference among the personnel. It is important not only for the KGB but for any military team”.

    “With the national security in mind, it is important to bring about creative attitudes to the work and the ‘can-do’ spirit with the utmost care. Otherwise, we will get only talks without results,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Yes, the betrayal of state interests, corruption, and inactivity must be eradicated. But at the same time you should trust people, help those in distress. Once recovered, the person will do one’s best in the line of duty if he or she is not an enemy or a criminal”.

    Speaking about KGB personnel, the President remarked that they boast analytical thinking, a systemic approach, and the ability to predict a situation. “The Committee trains such people not for its own needs but for the entire state. The best of them can find employment in presidential structures as well. Then we will see tighter cooperation, real interaction because no power-wielding agency can tackle the entire spectrum of national security threats. Whatever its potential may be as the key security service, the KGB will accomplish nothing on its own,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced. “This is why the matter of substitutability, transfer of personnel from one power-wielding agency to another is a matter of survival of this or that agency. We live in the same country”.

    The head of state pointed out the need to use the experience of retired KGB officers: “You cannot lose such people. Their lifetime experience, high professional skills should be in demand. First of all, in profound analytical work, the recognition of the situation in the country and abroad. We should remember that there are no former state security agents. If they are genuine state security agents, they are devoted to their work until they die”.

    “We talked about these matters in detail at the session of the KGB board. Since then acting upon my instructions the KGB has been checked twice. Their results will be discussed today, too. Personnel matters have been discussed with regard to other power-wielding agencies lately as well. Soon we will hold an extended participation session regarding the Interior Ministry reformation and these problems will be in the spotlight,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    “It is also true for the state secretariat of the Security Council. It is necessary to prepare a government session to discuss the operation of power-wielding agencies every three months to review their problems and render the relevant support,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    After the session State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Leonid Maltsev remarked that the Prosecutor General and the Chairman of the Investigation Committee had raised several questions in their speeches. In particular, they touched upon the latest events involving the State Security Committee. “Everyone knows about the suicide of KGB Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Kazak. There are some other issues that require a thorough investigation,” said Leonid Maltsev.

    In view of this the Belarus President has decided to remove Lieutenant-General Vadim Zaitsev from the office of the State Security Committee Chairman and put him into the reserve of the KGB Chairman, said the State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus.

    “I’ve been entrusted with executing duties of the KGB Chairman,” said Leonid Maltsev. “But it doesn’t mean that Vadim Zaitsev will not be able to return to his office once the investigation is over. If the investigation proves his competence as well as competence of other officials, then without a shadow of a doubt he will be reinstituted in his office. The measure has been taken to make the investigation as objective as possible. The Prosecutor General has been instructed to carry out the investigation. The Investigation Committee will also be involved in this work”.