As reported by “RIA Novosti” with reference to the Center of public relations of FSB of Russia, the establishment of border areas in the Smolensk, Pskov and Bryansk regions created “to combat the transit of illegal migration, drug trafficking and illegal cross-border movement of commodity-material values.”
The FSB stressed that the order of the head of Department does not impose restrictions on the freedom of crossing the state border by citizens of Russia and Belarus. “The establishment of the border zone does not provide for the implementation of border control of persons, vehicles, cargoes, goods and animals, establishment and operation of checkpoints across the state border,” – said the FSB.
On the introduction of a border zone regime on the border with Belarus, it became known on February 1. It happened three weeks after the decision of Minsk to establish a visa-free regime with 80 countries, including the EU and the USA. In accordance with the new rules, tourists from these countries can visit Belarus without a visa for not more than five days.
The foreign Ministry of Belarus said that the decision on creation of the border zone was taken by Russia without prior notice to you, stating that this was done “contrary to all existing agreements.”
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the decision of the head of the FSB, “purely political attack”. “It is thoughtless steps that only worsen our relations,” he said.