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Belarus’ MFA: Russia Did Not Give Us Prior Notification About Border Control Zone Plans

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry asked no to dramatize the situation as it commented on the order of the Russian FSB Director. The unexpected decision of Russia to create border control zone with Belarus triggered a lot of speculation in the media. 

“Let’s not dramatize the situation. We are analyzing the document”, Maria Vanshina, deputy spokesperson for the Belarusian MFA, said.

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At this stage she drew attention to two points.

“First of all, despite all the existing arrangements governing the protection of state borders between the two countries, Russia decided to establish border control zone without prior notice.” 

As the ministry’s spokesperson noted, this is not the first such case – a similar situation occurred in 2016, when Russia began imposing restrictions on the movement of third country nationals across the border of Belarus and Russia.

“Secondly, many have an impression that these actions lead to the restoration of full border control on the Belarusian-Russian border, canceled more than 20 years ago. It goes against a number of existing agreements.”

The official stressed that it was not the initiative of Belarus.

The Head of FSB Alexander Bortnikov ordered the creation of the border control zone between Russia and Belarus. Border control zones will be designated in Bryansk, Smolensk and Pskov regions along the border with Belarus.

The document was registered on January 26 and will enter into force 10 days after registration. Regional border guards will have to set locations and time for entry and passage of persons and vehicles in the border zone, and organize the installation of warning signs.

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