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

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo and State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislav Zas to discuss Belarus-Russia cooperation in border matters on 14 November.

In 1995 Belarus and Russia signed the agreement on joint efforts in protecting Belarus' state border. The agreement was automatically renewed every five years. The document is running out in November this year. Before the document is renewed for another term, the parties need to take stock of the interaction between the border services of Belarus and Russia. Earlier Aleksandr Lukashenko had given an instruction to discuss this matter with Russian partners.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus honors 100% of its commitments. This pertains to combating illegal trade in narcotic drugs and weapons, illegal migration, and to searching for stolen cars. “The border service of Belarus operates many times more efficiently on the common border. From the very first meters of our common fatherland we protect our interests and the interests of our main ally – the Russian Federation. It seems there are no issues, but other agencies report that issues are there,” the President said.

The head of state noted that some third-country nationals face problems crossing the Belarus-Russia border. “In other words, if a foreign citizen (from Austria, Germany or Poland) cross the border near Brest, he/she can be refused entry to Russia near Smolensk even if he/she has the Russian visa. This national has to go back and to enter Russia through the Latvia-Russia border or, which is weird, through the Ukraine-Russia border. How come? Everything seems to be fine, but this issue remains,” the President said.

According to the head of state, this situation raises eyebrow, after all, Russians admit that Belarusians protect the border better than they do. “There is a common space of Belarus and Russia. But they say: Go back and enter through Latvia. It is absolutely absurd. We need to tackle this issue together with Russians,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.