Meeting with State Secretary of Security Council Stanislav Zas, Chairman of State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo

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An increase in the number of personnel employed by the border service is under consideration in Belarus. The matter was discussed as Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislav Zas and Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo on 24 September.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “The border service should work effectively. If it needs more personnel, we will go ahead with it but we shouldn’t inflate the numbers without thinking.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that during this year’s visit to Belarusian border service units and stations a number of matters were discussed, including the possible renaming of the State Border Committee and changes of personnel numbers. “Today’s question is rooted in the analysis we had back then. Back then among other things we talked about some modernization of the border guard. We talked about adjustments of its strength and the deployment of new border guard stations because we now have to secure the Ukrainian border properly. And we need to more effectively work in other areas,” noted the Belarusian leader.

Speaking about the suggested personnel number adjustments, Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out that pure numbers are not the stumbling point. “Question is whether we need the numbers you suggest. Or whether we can do with a smaller increase in personnel numbers. You shouldn’t ask for 1,500 people when you need 1,000. We should make up our minds on every person,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. “We should also take a look at the structure of the current border service. There may be too many functionaries and too few foot soldiers. This is why we may have to reshuffle them. In other words, we should take a very serious look at the matter. I can tell you right now I will not authorize an increase in personnel numbers without justification.”

The head of state mentioned a rapid response force as an example. If a border service unit needs a rapid response force just the way it was in Soviet times, it is necessary to take a closer look at its strength and the structure. “It was a combat unit, which could be deployed to bolster any part of the border or serve some other functions. Yes, it needs a core, I don’t argue with that. If it needs 80 or 60 people, we will have to look at each and every one of them. It needs a chief and a deputy. But it doesn’t need four or five deputies,” noted the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko turned down the proposals made during the meeting. The proposals suggested increasing the number of personnel employed by the Belarusian border service. The head of state gave instructions to analyze the matter thoroughly by the end of the year in order to work out optimal and justified decisions.