ASTANA, 14 October (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei explained the need to take counter-terrorism measures in Belarus as he talked to the media on the sidelines of the CIS summit in Astana, BelTA has learned.
"Yes, of course, I have seen how they took out this phrase out of the context and spun conspiracy theories overnight. There is no need to spread panic. The president gave an instruction, which was voiced publicly, to hold counter-terrorism activities. This is what it's all about. This is what the KGB chief and our other officials have repeatedly said this week," Vladimir Makei said.
Vladimir Makei's statement in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper about the introduction of a regime of a counter-terrorist operation in Belarus caused a great resonance across mass media. Taking this opportunity, journalists asked the minister what he meant and whether this will lead to additional escalation on the Ukrainian border.
“For some reason, everyone refers to a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However in reality, in the interview with Izvestia, I said that the Belarusian president had held a number of meetings with employees and senior officials of law enforcement agencies, special services, and the leadership of the Armed Forces, during which he had been briefed on the situation around Belarus. It is no secret (the heads of our special services spoke about this) that we had received information about the preparation of a number of provocative actions against Belarus that might come from all possible directions, except for the east, of course. Taking this into account, the president of Belarus, as a responsible leader who should take care of the security of the state and citizens, of course, made the appropriate decision in order to resist possible provocation attempts,” the minister said.
“It was announced that in connection with a huge amount of information coming from outside regarding possible provocations in the adjacent territory of our country (there was even information about a possible attempt to seize certain parts of Belarus), it was decided to introduce the so-called counter-terrorist operation regime, which was done. This regime provides for enhancing control over the situation and strengthening border security. Will it lead to tensions between Belarus and the neighboring countries? Let us take a look at what is happening on the western borders, and what is happening in the south. If politicians keep acting so irresponsibly, we may end up with World War III. The Belarusian president put it straight: firstly, we do not want to get involved in any hot war, and secondly, we will do anything to protect our country, our land and our citizens. No matter what some alarmist reports say, if anything happens it will not be Belarus' fault,” Vladimir Makei said.
On 10 October Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a meeting on the country's security matters. The president stated that a few days before the KGB had been instructed to carry out necessary counter-terrorist measures. “Today we are going to see how these instructions are fulfilled. Considering all these factors and the current situation in general, we need to develop plans how to fight back, including by military means. In this regard, we need to timely identify and localize threats and, if necessary, adequately respond to any military manifestations against Belarus,” the Belarusian leader said at the meeting.