Reliable barriers to stop illegal immigration at the border

European diplomats, headed by the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, Maira Mora, recently toured Brest checkpoints, to view the process in action.

By Valentina Kozlovskaya

Belarusian border guards detained over 5,000 people, including 230 illegal migrants and 11 organisers, this year. European diplomats, headed by the Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus, Maira Mora, recently toured Brest checkpoints, to view the process in action.


Guard motorboat on the Dnieper
Guard motorboat on the Dnieper

Only a few hundred metres separate Brest frontier post from Poland, with four international checkpoints spread across the city and its surroundings. The site draws a great many tourists — thanks to Brest Fortress and the island of Pogranichny — so it’s no easy job keeping surveillance. An automated plane offers a good bird’s eye view, with pictures monitored by a border guard, sitting below. The Chairman of the State Border Committee of Belarus, Leonid Maltsev, showed the delegation around the air-complex, including its autogyro, video surveillance and alarm system. His answers to questions were delivered with professionalism.

Kozlovichi checkpoint boasts technology with which to distinguish forged passports, and is soon to launch electronic queuing. Ms. Mora admitted that she was impressed by border guards’ vigilance and the wealth of technical devices at the border.

Zeynal Hajiyev, who heads the International Organisation for Migration’s Office in Belarus (the IOM), noted that detention conditions for illegal immigrants must be carefully considered — since temporary detention, and deportation, needs funding.

Numerous programmes of international technical assistance aim to ensure border security. At present, five such programmes, with a total budget of $600,000, are being implemented, involving European and international structures. This July, Belarus began a new project with the EU and IOM, worth over 2.2m Euros.
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