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Kremlin says situation in Belarus under control, no need to use Russian police reserve

The Russian president has pointed out that it will be used as a measure of last resort, according to the Kremlin spokesman

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The situation in Belarus is under control and there is no point talking about the possibility of using Russia’s reserve force of law enforcement officers, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"There are currently no plans to use this reserve force. The Russian president has pointed out that it will be used as a measure of last resort if extremists attempt to destabilize the situation. But we can see that the situation is under control so there is no point talking about it now," Peskov noted.

According to him, "law enforcement agencies and the country’s authorities are keeping the situation under control, preventing provocations that can by staged in large crowds."

At the same time, Peskov explained that if the need arise to use the police reserve, it would not require the consent of Russia’s Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) because it was about "Russia’s obligations ratified by parliament." He said that those obligations referred to Russia’s agreements with Belarus made within the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Putin said in an interview with TV news anchor Sergei Brilev on August 27 that Moscow and Minsk had agreed to form a reserve of Russian law enforcement officers. The head of state added that the reserve would not be used "unless the situation runs out of control and extremists cross certain red lines, using political slogans as an excuse, and start setting houses and banks on fire and trying to seize administrative buildings."

When commenting on Putin’s statement on August 28, Peskov declined to say how many officers made up the reserve force, only saying that the number was reasonable. He added that Putin believed the reserve would not be put to use.