Border Committee Chairman Maltsev strengthens his position in Belarus with Russia’s aid
The Union State Border Committee Board meeting has nominated Chairman of Belarus’ State Border Committee, Leonid Maltsev, as the Board’s Chairman.
Despite the fact that the Union State of Belarus and Russia is a rudimental integration body from the mid-1990s, cooperation between the parties continues in several areas, including border management. Maltsev’s position inside Belarus has been shaky since November 2013, when President Lukashenko relieved him from duties as State Secretary of the Security Council and nominated head of State Border Committee. Recently, Russians supported Maltsev by upholding his nomination as head of the Union Border Committee. According to the Regulations, the Committee can only be headed by a relevant Committee head of each state.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.