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Opinions & Interviews

26 Apr 2016

MP: Belarus fully committed to combating terrorism

MINSK, 26 April (BelTA) - Belarus remains committed to its international obligations to combat terrorism, Viktor Rusak, vice chairman of the permanent commission for national security of the House of Representatives, told BelTA when commenting on the President's State of the Nation Address.

“In his State of the Nation Address the head of state noted that peace and calm are essential aspects of the life of the society and the state. Otherwise economic plans, population programs, and so on may be jeopardized. One of the factors having an impact on the stability of the society is terrorism,” Viktor Rusak noted.

According to him, Belarus has no basis for the emergence and development of this negative phenomenon. “It can only be brought from the outside, or imported, so to speak,” the MP said. According to him, several aspects of countering terrorism are important. “Firstly, this is the participation in international programs, cooperation with other countries, and integration associations. Anyway, Belarus has been consistent in its action to combat terrorism and remains committed to its international obligations. We have signed agreements with neighboring countries,” said Viktor Rusak.

“Secondly, it is important to prevent the spread of this phenomenon in our country. It is no coincidence that in his Address the President demanded a tough approach to the citizens who have taken part in military conflicts, irrespective of the motives and the sides they fought for, because they can serve as a basis for terrorist acts in Belarus,” the MP noted.

He believes that work should be continued on improving the national legislation in this field. Thus, at the beginning of May, the country will enforce the amendments to some laws, including to the Criminal Code which introduce criminal responsibility for extremism. The matter is about the liability of Belarus citizens for taking part in armed conflicts abroad. Under the current Criminal Code punishment is possible only when it is proven that a citizen received money for it. New Article 361-3 of the Criminal Code envisages criminal liability for participation in armed conflicts in other countries even in the absence of the elements of mercenarism. It also envisages punishment for recruitment and training of citizens, financing or other material support of such activities.

Viktor Rusak also recalled that the House of Representatives is getting ready to pass the second reading of the amendments to some laws on combating terrorism. “This bill is aimed at improving the work to detect and suppress terrorist acts at a very early stage. I believe that by adopting this law and with the help of the approaches identified by the head of state, we will build an orderly system to protect the country against this negative phenomenon,” the MP added.

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