Meeting to discuss ways to improve structure of Belarus’ Emergencies Ministry

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  • 5:36

We are planning to arm some employees of the Emergencies Ministry so that they could help the army in the event of a conflict or hostilities, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during a government conference to discuss ways to improve the structure of the Emergencies Ministry in Minsk on 7 February.

"Employees of the Emergencies Ministry are strong guys. I have a lot of respect for them. Wherever the assignment the Emergencies Ministry employees are one of the best, if not the best," the head of state emphasized.

As an example, Aleksandr Lukashenko cited a parade where employees of the Emergencies Ministry had this air of military bearing, on par with the military. They are also always in the leaders in fire and rescue sports.

"This is the image of the Emergencies Ministry. I am inclined to believe that all employees of the Emergencies Ministry, especially under the current minister, want to be part of the security and defense bloc, part of the siloviki. That's how we think of them. But in order to be one of them, they must be well versed in weapons. My instruction was to determine which units in the Emergencies Ministry shoild be armed,’ the President noted.

"Being a small country, we cannot have the army of 200,000-300,000. We agreed that the number of our Armed Forces, our army will be 65,000 strong. But if there is some kind of a conflict, or, God forbid, a war, the employees of the Emergencies Ministry cannot stay aside," Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed.

On the one hand, the employees of the Emergencies Ministry are rescuers. But when armed, they will be able to stand up for the defense of the Motherland in the event of an aggression. "Thus they need to have weapons. What weapons? Pistols, submachine guns, machine guns, grenade launchers. Should we provide them with some other equipment? I think, yes. They will provide a great help for the army in case anything bad happens," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He suggested that even in peacetime there will be work for them as armed people modernizing. "This is a very important think to think over as we get down to reforming the Emergencies Ministry,” the head of state noted.