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Opinions & Interviews

9 Oct 2018

Belarus open for closer counterterrorism cooperation with other countries

Belarus open for closer counterterrorism cooperation with other countries

MINSK, 9 October (BelTA) – Belarus is willing to scale up counterterrorism cooperation with other countries and international organizations, Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at the opening of the international high-level conference “Preventing and Countering Terrorism in the Digital Age" on 9 October, BelTA has learned.

“We are open for closer contacts with other states, their law enforcement agencies and security services, as well as international organizations to combat terrorism,” Vladimir Makei said.

The minister underlined that Belarus is constantly improving its counterterrorism law. The Criminal Code criminalizes all forms of participation in terrorist activities, armed groups, and military conflicts on the territory of a foreign state. “In January this year the counterterrorism law acquired new provisions that particularize the implementation of the UN Security Council’s resolutions related to the list of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction or being under their control. As of today, the list features 640 people and 369 organizations,” he noted.

In order to combat terrorism financing, Belarus elaborated a system of financial sanctions in compliance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council. These sanctions target organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities. Respective measures are to be implemented by organizations carrying out financial operations (banks, casinos, insurance companies) as well as the Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee. Financial transactions involving such organizations and individuals will be rejected in Belarus, while their assets will be immediately frozen.

“At the same time, there hasn’t been a single incident of freezing assets or blocking such financial transactions on the territory of our country, which is another testimony to the low risk of terrorist activities in Belarus. However, we will stay vigilant, because the threat of terrorism is global in nature and can cross the border,” Vladimir Makei noted. He added that the Financial Monitoring Department of the State Control Committee signed inter-ministerial agreements with financial intelligence agencies of 23 states to exchange the latest updates, including information related to terrorism financing.

“As a result of such a multifaceted approach, various international rankings traditionally view Belarus as a safe country to visit,” Vladimir Makei noted.

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