President dissatisfied with work of Belarus State Border Committee


President dissatisfied with work of Belarus State Border Committee

The State Border Committee of Belarus should and will work better. On July 26 the President of Belarus, summing up a sudden inspection of border authorities of the country, expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of individual areas.

This was the subject of discussion at a meeting with the head of state. Alexander Lukashenko earlier instructed the top management of the Committee to evaluate the work of their institution. The checkup revealed weaknesses in the protection of the state border.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I was reported on the results of this sudden inspection. There were several things to ponder on. We should figure out whom to punish and whom to praise. I did not do it behind the scenes. I think that the conversation should be principled since we are military men. Moreover, some facts of this checkup are serious and alarming.
Why? This is the third time this year alone that we have addressed the issues of border security. At the level of the President, we are for the third time coming to this point... So there is not just a suspicion, but, frankly, a deep dissatisfaction with the state of some individual directions in the activities of the State Border Committee.
Because we are a transit country, the border acquires very great importance, we cannot dismiss these issues. I would like the conversation to be frank and principled.
The question is not whether to thank or punish. Far from it. The issue is to improve border security tomorrow. I do not doubt that there will be improvements. Let's speak like men: with or without you (the only question is this), but it will be better. We cannot afford to have such a number of border guards and still experience problems.

Given the geopolitical situation of Belarus and the troubled situation in the world, law enforcement bodies are taking measures on the technical modernization of the border. One needs to respond flexibly to the threats of our time.    

Stanislav Zas, State Secretary of Security Council of the Republic of Belarus:
The President gave some instructions, both practical and global. In particular, there was talk about the need to improve the work and training of people who work at entrance points. It is necessary to improve the efficiency of operational activities among the population in the border zone. The head of state asked to assess the priorities of the Ministry's activities. He wants to have a clear understanding: what are the threats from which we must defend the country on our borders.

The total length of the state border of Belarus is more than 3,500 kilometers. The country spends a lot of money for modern border equipment.

Over the past few years, the border has become a real barrier to intruders. The frontier Svaryn is in the south, one of the most problematic regions. Open borders, dense forests and impenetrable swamps have always contributed to the flourishing of smuggling. Now, almost all along the perimeter, stands a barrier of high fencing with modern intruder detection systems. In Mozyr, there is now a squad of border guards and seven new outposts.

Vadim Buzuk, deputy chief of the outpost Svaryn:
We can now track the locality online with the help of video cameras. There are areas that take 2.5 hours to reach. Somewhere it is wet, dirty or the road is difficult. But using a quad bike is comfortable and quick. That is, we have increased maneuverability.

Belarusian border guards also use modernized Spiders - a device to catch any drone, even the one flying even at a very low altitude. 

Leonid Maltsev, Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus:
Most attention is given to the selection of personnel and training.  We absolutely understand that there must be staff who are absolutely loyal to the Belarusian people and who understand the necessity of the tasks given. But loyalty without high training is not too much, so to speak. Therefore, we focus on both these aspects.

The President in his youth himself served in the border troops. Therefore, Alexander Lukashenko insists that guards should return former respect. Then inhabitants of border areas will be more willing to help with border security. Voluntary border guards have been working in Belarus for several years. And in H1 2016, more than 50% of intruders were detained with their help.           

Leonid Maltsev, Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus:
Everyone should understand that state security also depends on him and that this will help ensure their own families are safe.

Another requirement of the President is that people in green caps don't miss new threats on the border. Not long ago, frontiers with Ukraine required high vigilance but now more focus is on the borders with the European Union.

Fighting terrorism and economic security are among the highest priorities.     

The July 26 meeting is not the last and not the most important one when it comes to the entire border security system. On the instruction of Alexander Lukashenko, on July 27, random security checkups will continue at the borders.