Meeting with Internal Affairs Minister Igor Shunevich

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Belarusian law enforcement bodies should ensure public security without going overboard during the 2nd European Games, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the working meeting with Internal Affairs Minister Igor Shunevich on 10 June.

The head of state asked about the security situation in the country, the progress in the preparations of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the 2nd European Games.

“Sometimes we take too many precautions and go overboard while ensuring public security at mass events in Belarus,” the President said. “I saw blocks installed along carriageways today. It seems you are preparing to build metal fences around fan zones. What for? They say people will not cross roads in forbidden places thanks to these fences but everything should be done in a civilized way. We are not in Syria, Libya or Iraq to do such things. Let them build such fences in democratic states such as France, Germany, America. Don’t do this here. We should work in a way to help people communicate freely with each other during and after the European Games. There should be no going overboard,” Aleksandr Lukashenko empathized.

According to the President, people’s security is the priority. However, no fences are needed. “I know that this is the proposal of European officials. Will you tell them please that we can ensure security of Belarusian people and foreigners without fences? Do not turn Minsk into a system of fences. Do what Mr. Sivak [Minsk Mayor Anatoly Sivak] asks. I instructed him and Ms. Kochanova [Head of the Belarus President Administration Natalya Kochanova] to make sure that such things are done without going overboard. Do what they ask. But they will be responsible for it,” the head of state remarked.

Igor Shunevich told the President that a number of administrative and practical measures were taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs last year. The main objectives were to ensure a high level of security and to take the crime rate under full control. “According to the available data and experts’ estimates, Belarus is one of the safest and most stable states in Europe. I am convinced that we will maintain safety, stability and public order during the European Games. There is no doubt about it,” the minister said.