Security remains topical
Alexander Lukashenko has met the heads of security agencies to discuss how the Armed Forces and the State Border Committee can work together to meet contemporary requirements. The session followed a set agenda, as is held regularly to help the security forces liaise effectively.
By Kirill Dovlatov
Starting the meeting, Mr. Lukashenko reminded everyone present, “In early 2012, we agreed that, within the coming few months, we’d discuss the reformation of national security forces to conform with modern requirements. In the near future, we’ll tackle how best to improve the Prosecutor’s Office bodies and their interaction with the Investigative Committee. Definite proposals are being prepared to reform the interior affairs system. Moreover, we’re looking at ways of further improving the activity of other security agencies.”
Mr. Lukashenko is focusing on today’s needs, to meet new geopolitical challenges, and the latest economic and political threats to security. With the advent of contemporary IT, borders and distances are no longer any obstacle to the spread of information, so any negative trend spreads worldwide within a flash. We can now see the result — the situation in the Middle East and North Africa affects the lives of people and the fates of entire nations.
The President continued, “Traditional means of warfare are being replaced by special techniques (including psychological ‘undermining’). Well-prepared extremist groups are sometimes involved, under the patronage of various organisations. While formally advocating the spread of democracy, inner destructive forces are being nurtured, consolidated and directed towards a specific course decided by foreign hosts.”
According to Mr. Lukashenko, counteracting such phenomena acquires particular topicality during political campaigns. On the threshold of our parliamentary elections, the Belarusian leader clearly specifies, “We should ensure free expression of the will of citizens in a calm atmosphere, in strict compliance with Belarusian law.”
The agenda saw Mr. Lukashenko discuss the role of the army, saying, “We need to assess whether the army’s image meets contemporary requirements, how it should best be modernised and developed and which solutions are most appropriate against the background of our economic opportunities.”
He asked how his instructions are being met regarding the ensuring of state border policy and the country’s border security for 2012, whether tasks are being fulfilled on time and with proper initiative. The President sees no imminent emergency but is concerned by such elements as the growth of criminality — including corruption within the State Border Committee; clearly, this is inadmissible.
The President raised some important points, such as the crossing of the Belarusian border by a single-engine aircraft. He questioned whether this ensures the safety of citizens and why the plane was allowed to proceed when detected in advance. He wonders whether an individual took pity on it or whether an error occurred through the air border defence system. “I’d like to hear answers to these questions,” he demanded. “I’d like to honestly and sincerely tell those interested in the matter and those present here that the perpetrators must take responsibility. As you can see, I don’t rush to draw conclusions. I’ve wanted to investigate the matter thoroughly and see those guilty bear responsibility. I’ll make decisions after the session, including regarding personnel,” he added.
The President demanded that the matter result in further strengthening of the national security system, ensuring an adequately prompt response to challenges and threats. In their reports, the heads of the Defence Ministry and the State Border Committee assured him that subordinate structures have been brought into play, meeting contemporary needs. The session resulted in concrete measures aiming to ensure national security.