Russian customs chief wants to extend border to Brest

Andrei Belyaninov, Russia's Customs Service chief, yesterday made a scandalous statement during the sitting of the Council of the Federation, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He told the Russian senators that "Russia will study Belarus's proposals to move the customs controls to the border of the Union State". "This really enlarges the borders of the Russian state", he was quoted today as saying by the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

The European Radio for Belarus called the press office of Russia's Federal Customs Service to confirm the report. “It is hard to say, because I was not present at the sitting of the Council of the Federation," says Dmitry Kotikov, a public information officer.

His Belarusian colleague Uladzimir Pekhtserau could not comment either, because he "has no information about what Belyaninov said".

According to the head of the Russian Customs Service, the issue about the abolition of the customs border between Belarus and Russia will be considered on February 14 in Hrodna during a joint meeting of the Belarusian and Russian customs officials.