MINSK, 31 May (BelTA) – We already have an idea about how many people are willing to join people's militia, Belarus' Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said on 31 May, BelTA has learned.
The bill “On people's militia” passed the first reading at the meeting of the ninth session of the House of Representatives of the seventh convocation. The document lays out legal grounds for Belarus' citizens, foreign nationals and stateless persons permanently residing in the country to voluntarily participate in ensuring the observance of martial law in Belarus. In particular, the bill defines the terms “people's militia”, “people's militia unit” and “people's militia volunteer”. It regulates general issues related to financial and material support for people's militia, restrictions on serving in people's militia, as well as the way people's militia units should be run. It also sets forth procedures related to formation, recruitment and deployment of people's militia units, their tasks, the powers of government agencies and officials in regulating activities of people's militia.
“We already know the number of people who want to join people's militia,” Viktor Khrenin said. According to him, the distribution of weapons is strictly regulated. “Weapons will be handed out to territorial defense units under the supervision of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in line with the lists compiled beforehand. We will teach people to use weapons. As for the possibility of the misuse of weapons, we have appropriate gun laws regulating this matter,” the minister noted.
Answering the deputies' question, Viktor Khrenin noted that the mechanisms and restrictions laid down in the bill would prevent the radical opposition from getting their hands on these weapons. “The law specifies who cannot join people's militia. When a decision to draft such a bill was announced, the opponents of the government immediately got riled up, they thought they would be able to sign up and get these weapons to turn them against the authorities. That was the reason why we decided to introduce restrictions. We have given more powers to employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, namely to community police officers who know their neighborhood inside and out, as well as to the State Security Committee to filter out those who should not be in people's militia,” he stressed.
The defense minister added that the authors of the bill worked on this document very scrupulously keeping in mind the president's instructions. According to the president, the country's special services should know what kind of people should not be allowed to join the ranks of people's militia.