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Opinions & Interviews

4 Apr 2016

Belarusians told to stay away from foreign military conflicts

Belarusians told to stay away from foreign military conflicts

MINSK, 4 April (BelTA) – The participation of Belarusian citizens in armed hostilities abroad damages national interests, BelTA learned from Chairman of the State Security Committee (KGB) of Belarus Valery Vakulchik on 4 April.

The KGB head pointed out that in accordance with the 1907 Hague Convention a state cannot be considered neutral if its citizens voluntarily join the army of a warring side. “This is why by taking part in armed hostilities in other countries Belarusian citizens threaten to get Belarus involved in armed conflicts to the detriment of its national interests. Such situations also negatively affect our country’s international image,” stated the official.

However, for now the Criminal Code of Belarus can punish only mercenaries. It is impossible to prosecute those, who fight abroad for their ideas or whose mercantile interest in fighting wars cannot be proved.

This is why plans have been made to amend the Criminal Code to punish citizens for taking part in armed conflicts in other countries even if the mercenary nature of their involvement cannot be proved. Punishments will be specified for recruiting and training people, financing or providing other kinds of material assistance for such operations.

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