August 14 – August 20, 2017

Transparency of Belarusian-Russian border is in question

The situation has not changed
Transparency of Belarusian-Russian border is in question

Russo-Belarusian border control and security issues could cause tension in bilateral relations. For a while, the situation was under control at the very top, but last month, the existing tension was disclosed to the population.

In an interview with the Russian TV channel last week, Alexander Lukashenka expressed extreme discontent with Russia for deploying border controls at the Belarusian-Russian border. On July 27th, 2017, the situation at the Russo-Belarusian border was discussed during Lukashenka’s meeting with the Belarusian Security Council heads.

So far, the Belarusian authorities have refrained from publicly elaborating their claims to their Russian counterparts. However, it is only a matter of time. Minsk can no longer disregard the situation, especially taking into account the fact that Russian border guards have taken control not only of the main transport routes between the two states, but also of the green border. The Belarusian authorities have to respond to that. Yet while Russia organizes a border security system with Belarus, Minsk has the opportunity to put forward proposals, which would satisfy Moscow in terms of reliability of the border control with Belarus and at the same time enable to retain high transparency levels.

Moscow is consistently lowering the status of the Belarusian-Russian relations. This has been a long-term trend, which has an impact on various spheres of bilateral relations, including security issues and border security. Taking into account the organizational efforts and costs undertaken by Russia to deploy the border guard system with Belarus, a U-turn is hardly an option. The Belarusian-Russian border is likely to acquire the features of a full-fledged interstate border, including various control mechanisms, in future.

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Once a week, in coordination with a group of prominent Belarusian analysts, we provide analytical commentaries on the most topical and relevant issues, including the behind-the-scenes processes occurring in Belarus. These commentaries are available in Belarusian, Russian, and English.

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