MINSK, 29 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed new president's aides in regions to step up efforts to ensure public security, BelTA has learned.
“Maintaining order in regions is a priority for you as military people,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Speaking about the ongoing unsanctioned rallies, Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the majority of them are taking place in Minsk. However, it is also important to keep an eye on the situation in regions. “Those rallies were rather small – 1,000-2,000 people, but still. Especially in Grodno. They demand to stop Grodno Azot or to stage a strike. What if an explosion happens… This is a high tech hazardous production facility. God forbid it happens – Grodno is near and it will be affected entirely. And dominant winds are western. Those winds are blowing, the cloud will cover Grodno, thousands and thousands of people will die. There are about half a million people in Grodno, including guests. Therefore, public security is number one priority,” the president said.
He remarked that Valery Vakulchik in Brest Oblast and Yuri Karayev in Grodno Oblast will be also in charge of the military dimension: “The air assault brigade in Brest is meant for that in accordance with the law. And a huge motorized rifle brigade has been deployed in Grodno. This is a pillar for you, for law enforcement and governors there. This is a power block. I am saying this openly and do not conceal anything. Everybody should realize that.”
The president added that the aides should cooperate with the Defense Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the State Security Committee in the center. “Especially with the Defense Ministry. You should see, hear and understand what is going on the border and abroad. You should inform me on time. And if you need the support of the Armed Forces, like in the summer, we will do it. This is within my competence. You can also use the assistance of the KGB and the Interior Ministry. You are aware of the issues we were dealing with here (the issues we were dealing with before, after the election in August). They need support,” the head of state instructed. “I reiterate: there is a fine line, you should not replace anybody. You should not rule and control local heads of the Interior Ministry and the KGB directly. They have their own chiefs. And you have your own chief. This is the president.”
“You should keep me posted, and we will act together, if necessary. You will get instructions from me, I will tell you how to act in certain fields. You are military people, and you understand what vertical subordination is,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned a special period in Minsk as well. This is the reason for the appointment of Aleksandr Barsukov as the president's aide. “He knows Minsk like the back of his hand. Neither Vakulchik, not Karayev, nor Kochanova, nor me know Minsk like he does. He knows everything. And now his main objective is to ensure full security with the help of the law enforcement in Minsk. Public security is a priority. He has been doing it for all his life.”