Alexander Lukashenko gave the order to the border troops commander not to let back home those “smart” Belarusians who left the country at this difficult time. He stated this on Thursday, 5 November, at a meeting on measures taken to counter the spread of viral infection, the press service of the President of Belarus reports.
He noted that “we could not leave our borders open, especially since we have not overcome the peak in Belarus yet”. Lukashenko assured that there was no politics in the desicion and the solution was temporary. A fragment of the meeting was shown on ONT TV channel.
“Other states use similar methods too. If we say that we have closed state borders to those trying to enter our country from the West, as we have no borders with Russia, this is because we see a huge outbreak of disease, especially in neighbouring Poland.”
He also commented on the healthcare workers leaving for Poland: “We have no extra doctors. We ourselves need to treat our people. But following our principle, we are not forcing any one to stay here. But you have to understand: if you leave abroad, you won’t come back, you will work there and earn the big money you left for.”
“I have ordered the border troops commander not to let into the country not only those with foreign passports, but also ‘smart’ Belarusians who left our country at this difficult time. We don’t need them to bring the infection here, and it does not matter what passport they have. They left to study or work there, let them. We didn’t stop them from going there. Therefore, let them work and recover there,” he added.
“Therefore, everyone should be put in their place, without hindering anyone if they want a big ruble or his eyes turned green from currency”. Lukashenko stressed that this is not a threat but an instruction for the government to act accordingly.
Earlier it was reported that Poland plans to attract foreign doctors to fight the coronavirus, including from Belarus and Ukraine, due to the lower language barrier compared to other countries. The Healthсare Ministry of Poland reported that 231 doctors from Belarus are working in the country. According to the Belarusian Healthсare Ministry, about 200 doctors go abroad a year (excluding those who go to work in Russia). The Belarusian authorities have expressed “serious concern” about the outflow of medical personnel abroad.
Recall that on 29 October, Belarus closed the borders with the EU countries and Ukraine for certain categories of individuals “due to the current epidemic situation in neighboring countries”. At the same time, the checkpoint at the National Airport Minsk operates without restrictions. Also, on 5 November, the State Border Committee discouraged Belarusians and foreign nationals permanently residing in the country from travelling abroad.