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Belarus President wants state border threats reliably countered

MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – Emerging challenges and threats to border security must be reliably countered. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko made the statement at the government session held on 1 February to pass the resolution on protecting the state border of Belarus in 2013, BelTA has learned.

The President remarked that border security matters had been discussed repeatedly in various formats. “They have been triggered by the anti-Belarusian policy of sanctions pursued by the West, provocations at the border, as well as the aggravation of border protection problems. All of it requires special attention and serious analysis of the existing system for protecting our borders,” said the head of state. “The situation regarding the latest violation of the state border necessitated no-nonsense personnel decisions. I have also given relevant instructions to improve the border protection system and improve interagency cooperation in this sphere”.

Alexander Lukashenko underlined that close attention had been paid to working out measures to improve the performance of the border committee and now is the time to review the fulfillment of these instructions.

The head of state remarked that since not only the State Border Committee protects the state border, the majority of national security agencies are involved, it is the heads of these agencies that had been invited for the session. The head of state said he wanted reports about what had been done and what has yet to be done to reliably counter emerging challenges and threats, reports about the development of border protection bodies and the effectiveness of using their forces and means. “What practical measures to improve the protection of the state border, especially in the air space, have been taken by other government agencies? What problems have yet to be addressed and how?” wondered the Belarusian leader.

The head of state underlined that he expected participants of the session to come up with an objective evaluation of the mechanism worked out last year to enable cooperation between all the agencies involved in guarding the state border.

Alexander Lukashenko also commented on some speculations in the border service. “You know what the state border means for me. It is possibly true that once you are a military man, you will always stay one. I am a former border guard. And it means a lot. It is what shapes my personal attitude to the border service and border guards,” said the head of state. “Therefore, some talks, which, I am told, circulate in the border service, claiming that allegedly the present head of the border service is far from the President, are total nonsense”.

The President underlined that the Chairman of the State Border Committee can directly contact the President at any time. “He knows it and I ask you to deliver the information to your officers. For me Colonel [Alexander] Boyechko is just another officer like all the previous heads of the border service. Everyone sitting at this table, ministers and top-ranking officials, have the same connection to the President,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“I would like all the border guards that protect and defend our country to hear it,” said the head of state. “This is why all these water-cooler conversations should stop and the border guards should do their job, patrolling the uttermost meters of our land, proudly protecting the peace and calm of the Belarusian nation. It is our everyday task and the nation should rest assured that we will accomplish it,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.