MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – The situation along the border, refugees and army support were discussed by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko at the event to approve the decisions on the protection of the state border in 2023, BelTA has learned.
Taking part in the meeting were State Secretary of Belarus' Security Council Aleksandr Volfovich, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces - First Deputy Defense Minister Viktor Gulevich.
“Although today's event is traditional - at the beginning of every year we take decisions on border protection - yet, the year 2023 is not like any other year, as the situation around Belarus (the military and political situation, and the economic situation as well) is not easy. This is why our today's meeting is special. First of all, I would like the chairman of the State Border Committee to report on what is happening along the perimeter of the border today. Of course, we have raised this issue more than once last year and this year. The situation is changing quickly, the dynamics are fast. How would you describe the situation today?” the head of state asked.
The second topic highlighted at the meeting with the president was the situation with refugees. “We know that even though the flow has dwindled, people are still fleeing the war. As far as people from Ukraine are concerned, these are our people, there are no big problems here. Those who want can come here and stay. Some ask for some kinds of assistance, food, shelter, medical care. We do this all. There are no particular problems here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
At the same time the president pointed to the continuous flow of people from Asia, including from countries such as Afghanistan and a number of others.
In this regard, the president asked to provide details on the ethnicity and the country of origin of refugees that cross the border of Belarus and the dynamics of the refugee flow.
“The army is the third very serious item on the agenda of today's meeting as it has to do with the protection of the state border. We did not hide it, we beefed up our border troops using our army units. What is the situation in this regard? You, as a commander, should have an understanding of whether the forces and means we are deploying to strengthen the state border are enough. This includes the border area in the south of Belarus, at the border with Ukraine,” the president said addressing Chairman of the State Border Committee Anatoly Lappo. “The police are involved, local authorities already joined in. They are doing a great job, they help in every way they could. Well, the Armed Forces are also involved. A report on this will be made by the defense minister and the head of the General Staff.”