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17 October 2019, 16:20

Plans to discuss extension of Belarus-Russia agreement on border protection in Minsk

MINSK, 17 October (BelTA) – Suggestions have been made to discuss the extension of the Belarusian-Russian agreement on joint efforts in protecting Belarus' state border, BelTA learned from State Secretary of the Security Council of Belarus Stanislav Zas during the 82nd session of the Council of Border Guard Commanders in Minsk on 17 October.

Among other things Stanislav Zas invited participants of the session to discuss some matters relating to the 1995 Belarusian-Russian agreement on joint efforts in protecting the state border. “The agreement is about to expire. We have to decide whether we need it or not, whether we should extend it or it is no longer relevant in the current circumstances. Certainly, the opinion of border service agencies is important in this regard,” he said.

Stanislav Zas
Stanislav Zas

According to Stanislav Zas, it would also be advisable to discuss the matter of the internal border of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. “We respect the Russian Federation's efforts to ensure its own security. But we fail to understand some of the measures the country takes at this border,” he said. In particular, he mentioned restrictions on travels of third-country citizens, who have Russian visas and have passed border control procedures in the Belarusian city of Brest or Grodno. “There may be an explanation for it but we should sit down and discuss it so that we could understand what is going on at our joint border,” he added.

Border services pursue an open border policy. Visa regulations are facilitated and the relevant legislation is improved as part of this policy. Everything should match interests of the economy, the private sector, freedom and speed of transportation of people without detriment to the security of nations, Stanislav Zas is convinced. Border security enhancement efforts should not impede law-abiding citizens, who want to go to other countries for business or pleasure. This is why it is important to balance security interests and border-crossing comfort.

Delegations of the border services of the CIS member states and the coordinating service of the CIS Council of Border Guard Commanders, heads of interacting CIS agencies (the CIS Executive Committee, the CIS Antiterrorism Center, the Bureau for coordinating fight against organized crime and other dangerous kinds of crime) took part in the session.

Participants of the session are expected to discuss the state of affairs at external borders of the CIS member states and its development trends, results of the work of the CIS Council of Border Guard Commanders in 2019 and priority tasks for 2020, results of joint operations and their organization in the future.

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