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Belarus President: Ukraine crisis must not be overlooked

Security inside Belarus and on its borders. Improving the operation of security officials was discussed on December 16 at a meeting hosted by the head of state.

The situation in Ukraine is still tense, and Belarus must keep following the events there. In addition, from January 1, Ukraine-EU association agreement will come into force and a free trade zone will be created. So the strengthening of Belarus' borders from the point of view of security and economy is very important.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
I want to emphasize: we must not overlook the situation with Ukraine. The mere fact that Mr Shunevich (Interior Minister) detains people at the railway station with grenades and explosives suggests that it is impossible to relax. Am I right? And the head of the border agency will report on how things are going when it comes to the strengthening of our southern border. Moreover, I want to just warn you: from January 1, the Ukraine-European Union association agreement comes into force. Naturally, this agreement is annoying not only for Russia, although concerns were expressed earlier, more than a year ago. And when I met with the Russian president he drew attention to the entry into force of this agreement, which will lead to certain risks for Russia and for us, including Kazakhstan. Therefore, we must discuss these issues, of course, the three of us (the Eurasian Economic Union plus Armenia and Kyrgyzstan). We must also talk with Ukraine somehow and discuss these problems, because they will not resolve themselves. We have enough problems in the economy. But if goods from the European Union, which will be imported to Ukraine at a zero rate, rush here, then we will be in a big trouble. Therefore, all that we were doing to strengthen the southern borders of our country in terms of security and economy is very urgent today. And I'd like to hear how things are going with the strengthening of our borders.

Alexander Lukashenko: We must not overlook the situation with Ukraine