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Belarus security forces given wide powers to deal with external threats- foreign minister

tajik president rakhmon and belarusian president lukashenko meet in dushanbe
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko REUTERS/Didor Sadulloev

Belarus has given its security forces broad powers under to prevent or respond to provocations from neighbouring countries, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told the Russian Izvestia newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

“The head of our country held a number of meetings with law enforcement agencies, and a counter-terrorist operation regime was introduced,” Izvestia cited Makei as saying.

“There was information that some neighbouring states were planning provocations on, pretty much, the seizure of certain sections of the territory of Belarus.”

Neither the foreign ministry nor the press office of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko responded immediately to Reuters’ request for a confirmation.

The counter-terrorist operation regime gives security forces broad rights, including detentions to verify identities, barring movement, wiretapping and control of all communication and unimpeded entry of agents on any premises.

A flurry of military activity in Belarus this week has caught the attention of Ukraine and the West as a potential sign that Lukashenko may commit his army in support of Russia’s flailing war effort in Ukraine.

On Monday, Lukashenko said at a security meeting that he had ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near Ukraine in response to what he said was a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its backers in the West.

The Belta state news agency reported that at the meeting Lukashenko said that he had ordered the country’s intelligence agency, the KGB, to carry out necessary counter-terrorist measures.

“We need to have options for counter-action, including military ones,” Belta cited Lukashenko as saying. “(That’s) in order to identify and localise threats in a timely manner, and, if necessary, adequately respond to any military manifestations against Belarus.”

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