MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has approved the decisions on protection of the state border in 2023, BelTA has learned.
At the start of the year the head of state traditionally approves the decision on state border protection. This year two decisions will be signed: on state border protection on the ground and in airspace.
The State Border Committee emphasizes that the main efforts in border protection this year will be focused on the Ukrainian direction, and also in the areas where new external challenges and threats to border security may arise. The main goals are to improve combat readiness of the border service by improving the combat training and supply of units, and to increase the combat capabilities of the maneuver groups, develop of the border service's capacity to identify external threats to border security and improve the state border infrastructure, which includes construction of new protection boundaries and their equipping with the most modern technical means in the most dangerous areas.
According to Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo, the head of state was briefed on border protection in 2022 and the situation in view of the combat operations in the neighboring state - Ukraine. “We had to fully restructure border protection in the southern direction,” the head of the State Border Committee said. According to him, all state border protection tasks set for 2022 were fulfilled.
“Tasks for this year are just as important. I think that with our forces and means we will fulfill these tasks and ensure reliable protection of the borders,” he said. “The task is to ensure reliable protection of the state border and to ensure that law-abiding citizens are allowed into our country. Another task is to become a reliable shield against those who come to us with bad intentions.” The State Border Committee has all the necessary forces and means to carry out this task, and new equipment is also being brought in. “If there are new tasks, we will think of new equipment,” the head of the State Border Committee said.
According to him, tensions on the border persists also because of the situation with refugees. “Some countries are destroyed, people have nowhere to live, they were called to Western European countries, and they will keep coming. This trend was last year, and it will be next year as well. We will have this trend until people without a roof over their heads find one. They should not be promised a golden mountain, then there will be fewer such problems,” said Anatoly Lappo.
According to the State Border Committee, more than 3,800 attempts were made to push groups of foreigners (a total of more than 31,000 people) back to Belarus from the neighboring EU countries in 2022. The number of detained border violators increased by 51% (from 318 to 480 people) in 2022. The number of violators of the state border law went up by 10%. It should be taken into account that the growth last year was fixed at the background of COVID-19 restrictions in 2021. If we compare it with the pre-COVID period, then there is no explosive growth, the increase is within the limits of mathematical error, Anatoly Lappo explained.
For the first time this year, the president, along with the decision to protect the state border on the ground, signed a decision to protect it in the airspace. Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces - First Deputy Defense Minister Viktor Gulevich explained this need by a tense military-political situation around Belarus. According to him, the Belarusian Armed Forces have previously carried out this task, but now their responsibility has been strengthened.
“Our forces and means are in readiness for cover in the southern operational direction. They are located in areas where they can respond in a timely manner to all the risks, challenges and threats that arise in the south of our country,” the chief of the General Staff stressed.
“The development of the situation, its tension forced us last year to build up the forces and means of the radio engineering troops, anti-aircraft missile troops and electronic warfare. It is the use of these means that helps us reduce and, to a certain extent, eliminate the passage of air intruders into the territory of our country,” he added. For example, the integrated use of these forces and means, according to him, made it possible to timely detect an air target over the territory of Belarus on 29 December 2022 (an S-300 anti-aircraft guided missile fired from the territory of Ukraine) and disrupt the performance of the task by the intruder.
According to Viktor Gulevich, Belarus has effective means of combating unmanned aerial vehicles. This is primarily a means of electronic warfare. “Fortunately, our military-industrial complex has mastered the production of these tools, we have put them into service, and now they are successfully suppressing control channels, GPS navigation, which makes it difficult and excludes the use of UAVs,” he said.