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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko © Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

The situation at Belarus’ southern borders is constantly deteriorating, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday as he approved the border guard service’s 2022 border protection plan.

“There has been much talk about our southern borders. The situation is deteriorating all the time,” Lukashenko said.

As the Belarusian leader pointed out, the republic’s security “begins from the border because sovereignty is ensured within the bounds of these borders.”

The Belarusian border guard service faces the clear-cut tasks of increasing the efficiency of border protection through efforts to improve the engineering and technical facilities at the frontiers, Lukashenko said. The Belarusian border guards had to be more vigilant and participate in measures jointly with the army and the security services in 2021 amid an influx of refugees and a military build-up by neighboring countries along the republic’s borders, he pointed out.

Now the talk is focused “on the joint drills with the Russian Federation,” the Belarusian leader said. However, Belarus and Russia announced their plans to hold joint drills long ago and these are regular measures for the armies of the two countries, Lukashenko added.

On January 21, Lukashenko stated that the Ukrainian leadership was under external administration and was behaving in an unpredictable manner and, therefore, it was necessary to reliably protect the border with that country.