Russia closes border with Belarus over coronavirus, Belarus not happyChristian Fernsby ▼ | March 16, 2020
Russia’s authorities have decided to shut the border with Belarus for the movement of people amid the coronavirus pandemic, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said today.
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Topics: Russia border Belarus coronavirus
"We will continue making every effort to protect our country from this new threat, we will be proactive and will take exhaustive measures in order to first of all prevent a mass spread of the coronavirus," he said.
Mishustin noted that the coronavirus was brought in Russia by people, who had come from other countries, where the infection had earlier spread.
"The growing number of those ill in Russia, which we have seen over the past days, comes due to people, who are close to them or those with whom they had contacted.
"In many countries the situation is developing upon an unfavorable scenario," Mishustin said.
The coronavirus poses serious risks to people’s life and health as well as to business activity, he stressed.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko criticized Moscow's decision today to close the border between the two countries, saying that Russia's panic about coronavirus is aggravating economic disruptions.[break]
“For us, what’s biggest is the economy.
“Unfortunately, all these movements in the direction of coronavirus have had a dramatic effect on the economy.
It’s gotten to the point that our Mother Russia, I’m stressing this, has closed the border with Belarus,” Lukashenko said, arguing that his country is confronting the disease calmly, while “all of Russia is ablaze from coronavirus.”
“So who should be closing themselves off to whom here? It’s a rhetorical question,” Lukashenko added, praising his compatriots for a lack of panic buying at pharmacies. ■