MINSK, 31 July (BelTA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus has sent a note to Russia over the situation on the border, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We are trying to clarify the situation in contact with the Russian side. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also sent a note asking whether Russia has really changed the border crossing procedure,” the press service noted.
Press Secretary of the Embassy of Belarus in the Russian Federation Oleg Mazuro said that following today's changes in the Belarusian-Russian border crossing procedure the embassy promptly arranged consultations with top officials of the Smolensk Oblast branch of the Russian border service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia.
According to the information that has been received, on 31 July the Russian side did step up control over the citizens of Belarus and Russia that cross the border in order to keep an eye on the relevant categories of incoming and outgoing people and fulfill the Russian government's instructions on fighting the coronavirus infection.
It was specified that the measure had been implemented in response to higher passenger traffic, which had nearly doubled after the Russian government lifted border-crossing restrictions from a number of traveler categories.
The Russian side assured that long queues at the border are caused by imperfect organizational and technical measures instead of political reasons. The Russian side is now taking measures to increase the throughput capacity of border crossings and fix the situation. The Belarusian embassy will continue tracking the situation in tight cooperation with Russian government agencies.