Belarus President approves resolution on state border protection in 2018

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to improve the system of response to the challenges and threats to the border security of Belarus and to revise the forms of further development of the border protection agency. He made the statement at the session held on 22 January to approve the resolution on the protection of the state border in 2018.

“Border security and the situation at the Belarusian border are the major priorities of the Belarusian national policy. First of all, it is connected with the international situation around Belarus,” the head of state stressed.

“You know what is going on in the European Union. You are aware of the situation at our eastern border which we recently discussed as we reviewed our visa issues with the Russian Federation. The southern border with Ukraine is under the influence of the processes that are happening, first of all, in Ukraine,” the President said. “As for the Baltic direction, we’ve also heard the rhetoric in those countries who describe us together with Russia almost as aggressors. There are many problems. Although these are not absolutely pressing problems requiring extraordinary response. But we must keep our powder dry and do our best to protect our borders just like we have been doing before.”

According to the President, the system of response to the challenges and threats to border security will be improved in Belarus; the forms of further development of the border protection agency will be revised. “The situation at the border will hardly improve significantly in the neat future. Therefore, we need to step up efforts to modernize our border infrastructure, create normal conditions for border service, build border outposts, apply cutting-edge technologies in border protection,” the President instructed.

“We have made much progress in optimization. We have reduced the number of auxiliary functions and jobs, and shifted the center of gravity on the border,” he added.

The President said that Belarus is an island of security on the Eurasian continent. “We spend a lot on protecting the state border. Today Belarus is an island of security on the Eurasian continent. We spend handsome amounts of money on preventing all kinds of migrants, bandits, charlatans, and criminal groups from reaching Europe and going back to the East. We perform an important international function,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

“But frankly speaking, the international community, particularly Europeans, and Russians at that, could make a more vigorous financial contribution to our efforts to fight all kinds of trespassers,” added the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that upon his instructions the State Secretariat of the Security Council examined the operation of the Belarusian border service last year. Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered how the previously given instructions were being fulfilled. “I would like the chairman of the State Border Committee to tell me about the situation at the border and results achieved in 2017. Considering those, what corrections are you going to introduce to the border protection routine?” asked the President.

After hearing out the reports the head of state approved this year’s state border security guidelines. The resolution on the protection of the state border was adopted in light of the new elements of the recent situation. It included the strengthening of the protection of the external border of the EU by the neighboring countries in connection with the continuing migration crisis, and also the increasing terrorist threat in the countries of Western Europe, and the high risk of weapons, ammunition, explosives and other means of terror being smuggled to Belarus.

According to the resolution, the priorities of the border service bodies include the prevention of illegal penetration of terrorists, extremists and also means of terror, extremist or other criminal activity into Belarus; prevention of illegal movement of smuggled cargoes and other goods across the border; the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking; the improvement of infrastructure at the border and in the frontier territories.

To address the above-mentioned challenges, the measures will be taken, together with customs border, to improve the border crossing procedures for individuals and vehicles, to enhance the system of monitoring the situation, to implement new technologies.

The document also takes account of the changes in the structure of territorial units of the border protection service associated with the deployment of new units on the border with Ukrainian and Baltic states.