February 3, 2017
No border regime has been introduced between Russia and Belarus, Moscow has just set up border zones in order to control other countries’ citizens travelling to these areas, the Kremlin press service said commenting on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s statements criticizing the relevant order of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB).
«We would like to emphasize that no border regime has been introduced but border zones have been set up in the areas adjacent to the border as it is necessary to regulate the visits of other countries’ citizens,» the Kremlin press service stressed adding that «neither Russian nor Belarusian nationals, who are citizens of the Union State, will be affected by this measure.»
No agreements violated
«We believe it incorrect to view these measures taken by Russia as a violation of our international obligations, international or interstate agreements, so we can’t agree with Alexander Grigoryevich (Lukashenko),» the Kremlin press service said. The press service elaborated that the relevant directive of the Russian Federal Security Service director was published «after it was thoroughly prepared and agreed on with the justice ministry so that it is in line with all the international agreements.»
The Kremlin added that Russia was not the first country to take such measures as on September 14, 2014, the Belarusian president had signed a decree stipulating the establishment of border zones in the areas adjacent to the Russian border. «It was a just and fair decree aimed at ensuring border security as well as creating conditions for cooperation with Russia in preventing illegal migration, drug trafficking and the cross-border goods smuggling. It was a well substantiated decision, and now our border agency has taken the same path,» the Kremlin noted.
Plans for the two presidents’ meeting
«We expect that we will somehow manage to agree on a date to hold a meeting of the Supreme State Council in order to discuss the entire range of issues the Union State has been facing,» the Kremlin said adding that the media would be informed «if and when» a date was fixed.