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.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.