In a Sunday news show on Russia-1, the host Dmitri Kiselev announced that next week Russia would close the border with Belarus.
According to Kiselev, these measures are necessary to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from spreading. In turn, on Sunday, the Ministry of Health of Belarus issued a statement explaining why the Belarusian authorities had not introduced quarantine in the country.
On March 16, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin confirmed the closure of the border with Belarus at an operational meeting.
“We’ve also decided to close the border with Belarus for the movement of people, as well as taken a number of other precautionary steps,” he said, the Russian government reports.
Belarusian Foreign Ministry is still studying information about Russia’s decision to close the border with Belarus, spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Anatol Hlaz told TASS.
According to him, later the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to provide clarifications to citizens in connection with the new measures of Russia.
Official representative of the State Border Committee of Belarus Anton Bychkouski declined to comment on the closure of the border. According to him, “there are no Belarusian border guards on the border with Russia, their stay was not planned”.
On March 15, Vladimir Putin signed a document on the working group of the State Council to counter the coronavirus. The Mayor of Moscow Sergei Sobyanin was appointed head of the group.
Apart from Russia, the border with which is still open, all neighboring countries — Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia — have closed their borders with Belarus.