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Belarus views decision to set up border zone as Russia's internal affair

Politics 02.02.2017 | 15:47

MINSK, 2 February (BelTA) – The decision to set up a border zone along the frontier with Belarus is an internal affair of Russia, Anton Bychkovsky, official representative of Belarus' State Border Committee, told BelTA.

“The decision of Russia's competent authorities to set up a border zone along the Russian-Belarusian border in Pskov Oblast, Smolensk Oblast and Bryansk Oblast is an internal affair of the Russian Federation,” he said.

The Belarusian President issued Decree No. 433 on 4 September 2014 to incorporate a number of administrative-territorial units on the Belarusian-Russian border into a near-border territory, Anton Bychkovsky recalled. This helped the Belarusian and Russian border guard authorities to interact more closely in combating illegal migration, drug trafficking and smuggling of commodity and material valuables across the state border. At the moment, according to the State Border Committee, this has been sufficient for ensuring efficient border security.

“It should be noted that the notion ‘near-border territory' and ‘border zone' are not identical both in the Belarusian and Russian legislation. For more information on the rules of entry and stay in the border zone, one should contact Russia's FSB Border Service,” Anton Bychkovsky said.

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