Aleksandr Lukashenko approves decision on guarding Belarus’ state border for 2022
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has approved the decision on guarding the state border for 2022.
“Last year was a difficult year for our border services. We will still have to analyze the last year’s situation in a very serious way, to assess all the positive and negative things, but my feelings (and they rarely deceive me) tell me that last year our border guards were on the edge for the first time, were tested by their truly men’s job, and did great,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
The President thanked Belarusian border guards. He said that they are in combat readiness 24/7 and are always ready to promptly respond to emerging threats. “You don’t have to raise the alarm for them as they are always prepared. They have always been because we don’t know what can happen on the border in a minute. Therefore, our border guards are always in full combat readiness. They have always been and will always be. Good job, guys! Amid the challenges of the previous year they did great,” the head of state stressed.
“Naturally, the security of our state begins with the border, because our sovereignty is safe within our border. The border troops make a considerable contribution to ensuring sovereignty and our effective work in a peaceful period,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in 2021, due to the influx of refugees and the deployment of troops from neighboring countries along the Belarusian border, the border guards had to be more vigilant and participate in reconnaissance activities together with the Armed Forces and the State Security Committee. “There is a lot of talk now about our southern border. The situation is getting more complicated all the time. They are trying to shift the focus to our joint exercises with the Russian Federation,” the President noted.
"Just a day ago I was told about the threats from the U.S. Department of State. They came to our diplomats in New York and laid out their threats: They will impose sanctions if we allow Putin and Russia this or that. If we decide to host nuclear weapons, they will do that. They have this patronizing tone towards Belarus," the Belarusian leader said. “So I want to draw their attention to what I said when I visited Luninets. There’s not much we can add. We don't need war. The United States, using Poland and Latvia, is pushing for this war. We have been a donor of security in the region and we have always been appreciated for that."
“Look, it cannot get any worse. But if they want to bring us to the brink of an abyss, they know how we will respond to that. In the context of the situation developing around us, here in the region, and given the Washington’s recent statements, we will have to defend the borders of our country. We know how to do it, and we will do it for sure,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the West in general and the European Union, in particular, should look into the mirror in the first place. “Why has the European Union curtailed cooperation on border issues? They have terminated this cooperation. It was not us who decided to escalate the situation. We just responded. We will act in the interests of our state, no matter what they tell us, no matter how much they threaten us,” the head of state said.
“I have never stooped to the level of arguing with my opponents and rivals, but today, having received a media review, I was surprised to learn that ‘Belarus had been occupied’. As the commander-in-chief, I have overlooked it somehow. Maybe you have failed to tell me that ‘the occupation of Belarus’ has already taken place?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked ironically Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo.
The President noted that the opposition media are constantly plying up the Belarus-Russia exercises, counting how many troops from Russia will arrive in Belarus. Moreover, they call the exercises ‘the occupation plan’. In particular, such a wording was used by Zenon Pozniak. According to him, hundreds of wagons of military hardware from Russia will arrive in Belarus in addition to 100,000 soldiers.
“I rarely mention names, but I have cited Zenon Pozniak not because he is some kind of a model for us. On the contrary, he is the antithesis of our policy. But I know him very well, and he knows me. The man is smart, he understands everything. No one from the current self-exiled opposition is close to him in terms of understanding," the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the politician who left Belarus attempts to speculate on the topic of exercises with Russia and interpret the facts in his own way: "Listen, the numbers do not fit. It's easy to calculate, even if you don't know what an army is."
"But that's not the point. I would like to ask, Mr Pozniak, where he, a fighter for sovereignty and independence, was in 2020 when the country was about to lose independence and was about to be occupied? Why, then, he didn't defend sovereignty and independence? Where were you, Mr Pozniak? Most importantly, I would like to address the Belarusians who heed their words and are now concerned about this (this is part of our society, part of the state where I am the President), and Mr Pozniak: We will never allow the occupation of Belarus, at least as long as I am the President and as long as you are my generals. This is not going to happen, neither from the right nor from the left, neither from the west nor from the east, neither from the north nor from the south. Never. We will never let it happen. There is no need to speculate on this ‘topic’,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
According to the President, Belarus and Russia announced plans to hold the joint exercises long time ago. These are regular exercises for the armies of the two countries. The Zapad exercise was held in 2021. This year’s exercise will span the southern border of Belarus. “It is important for us because we will have to deploy the Belarusian army contingent there. We discussed this during the recent visit to Luninets. This is no occupation at all. We just want to protect our southern border. This kind of politicians should first of all pay attention to the military build-up not only on the borders of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, but also of Ukraine. It was not us who started paying attention to our southern border in the first place. The Ukrainians began pulling troops there. I do not understand why they had to do this,” the head of state said.