If the border traffic is too intensive

The process of crossing the Belarusian external frontier has significantly improved in the context of implementation of the joint international programmes
The process of crossing the Belarusian external frontier has significantly improved both in terms of acceleration of passport check procedure and forged documents tracing. Such results were announced by Cihan Sultanoglu, a UNO Representative, at the joint meeting of the Advisory Councils of EU/UNDP projects (BOMBEL-1 and BOMBEL-2) that took place in Brest.

Cihan Sultanoglu stressed great importance of cooperation between the State Border Troops Committee of Belarus and the international organizations in the sphere of enhancing border management in the Republic of Belarus. “This is one of the EU/UNDP major projects. The results of the project are unique for CIS countries and are aimed at peacekeeping and security in Europe”, — emphasized Cihan Sultanoglu. She also reported that Belarus in cooperation with EU and the European Commission implements a number of important projects, including control of traffic in women and drug trafficking.

This year the European Commission will allocate about nine million euros for implementation of the EU/UNDP project called BOMBEL-2 in Belarus. This fact was announced by Ian Boag, Ambassador, Head of the European Commission’s Delegation to Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, on the morrow of the meeting in Brest. He stated that the project “Enhancing the System of Immigration Control at the State Border of the Republic of Belarus” is a logical continuation of BOMBEl-1 and is aimed at realization of the strategy of long-term cooperation between the European Commission and the State Border Troops Committee of the Republic of Belarus. The main objective of the programme is to enhance the potential of the state border troops in the sphere of migration flow management, border control, and “green” border surveillance with establishment of modern databases, organization of information cooperation with the key information systems of Europe as well as in the area of technical facilities, development of infrastructure and border management strategy.

“At the moment none of the countries is able to singly stand up to smuggling, illegal drug, armament and radioactive materials trafficking, illegal migration and other malpractices committed at the border or in the border area. The EU policy is aimed at enhancing the potential of the neighbouring border troops in order to simplify the process of crossing the border by law-abiding citizens and serve as a good barrier for unlawful activities”, — said Ian Boag. Threat he explained that such measures are caused by gradual demolition of border control instruments at the internal borders of Shengen countries and deficit of financing and technical equipment of transit countries in order to compensate lack of safety in this sector. Being a state at the crossroads of Europe, Belarus is paid great attention to from the European Union, and according to Mr. Boag, Belarus will get financial support in the sphere of the state border control in the future as well. The projects BOMBEl-3 and BOMBEL-4 have already been developed; they will be implemented in the near future.

But we have to get back to BOMBEL-1. In the framework of this programme a center for temporary accommodation of migrants was opened in Brest. The project was implemented under EU/UNDP programme “Enhancing Border Management in the Republic of Belarus” in cooperation with the State Border Troops Committee of the Republic of Belarus. The center fully meets the European requirements in regard to comfort and services. “We ought to be humane and not to forget that illegal migrants are first of all human-beings, and we should treat them in the corresponding way”, — stressed Ian Boag, Ambassador, Head of the European Commission’s Delegation to Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus, at the press-conference.

The center in Brest is meant for hos-ting of twelve people simultaneously. Citizens from other countries applying for a refugee status or residence at the territory of Belarus will be able to stay here for half a year. It is worth mentioning that the group of buildings for temporary accommodation of migrants in Brest also includes an isolator for temporary accommodation of foreign citizens who violated the frontier regime and pursuant to the Administrative Violation Code are subject to detention and extradition.
Implementation of the EU/UNDP project BOMBEL-1 on enhancing border management in the Republic of Belarus started in July, 2005. It is primarily aimed at integration of border troops in the system of unified standards of Europe. Programme implementation made it possible to carry out complex training of Belarusian frontiersmen in the types of border surveillance in accordance to the EU standards, to continue development of automated system of passport control and integrated communication system of the border troops of RB, to establish at the Polish-Belarusian border (in Brest) a center for temporary accommodation of migrants, to reconstruct the dog center of the border troops in Smorgon.

The overall budget of the project amounted to about five million euros.

Viktor Radivinovsky
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