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Opinions & Interviews

1 Jun 2018

Belarus invites Russia to revise border service presence at common border

Belarus invites Russia to revise border service presence at common border

DIVIN, 1 June (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia should decide how border service personnel should be present at the Belarusian-Russian border. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he visited the border guard station Divin in Kobrin District, Brest Oblast on 1 June, BelTA has learned.

The head of state was informed about the situation at the Belarusian state border, measures being taken to secure it, the use of forces and assets to fulfill the border service tasks. Alexander Lukashenko spoke at length about the situation in the eastern direction.

Representatives of the State Border Committee of Belarus told BelTA that there are no permanent border service units at the Belarusian-Russian border. However, if the border service receives reports about illegal activities, units may be deployed to investigate the reports, including in association with police personnel and state security service specialists. Units of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) are deployed on the other side. They guard the Belarusian-Russian border for all intents and purposes.

Alexander Lukashenko pointed out that Belarusian government agencies should not make formalistic decisions. “If decisions have been made to control this direction in this manner, then at least it should be beneficial. But it would be better yet if it was effective,” said the head of state.

“But we shouldn’t act like Russians. They don’t know what they want and what they are doing at the Belarusian-Russian border. They should make up their minds. Once they have, we can easily respond. We are ready to give an adequate answer at any time. If they want to close the border, they may go ahead. If they close the border, we should introduce border control, too,” stressed the Belarusian leader. “If they are ready to treat us like allies, like family… Borders are a thing of the past. They don’t promote interpersonal communication, moreover, communication between Russians and Belarusians. But it is up to Russia to decide,” said the Belarusian leader.

“This is why we don’t have to rush it. We have to see what they want. We know where they’ve deployed so many troops, set up commandant offices and other kinds of infrastructure,” noted the head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko added that this matter will be discussed among other things during the session of the Supreme State Council of the Union State of Belarus and Russia in June. “We need a definite agreement on relations between the border services. It is not up to the border services to resolve the matter. It is up to other centers of influence and impact. We are now deciding on our common behavior at the Belarusian-Russian border. These things should not be rushed. But we have to see what is going on.”

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