New edition of the Law “On Martial Law”
It was published on the National Legal Internet Portal on January 21 and took effect on February 1. The law defines the grounds for the imposition of martial law: military threat or attack.
According to the law, military threat is a declaration of war against the Republic of Belarus on the part of another State without aggressive actions on the part of the latter. It also includes the concentration of the armed forces of other states along the Belarusian state border, which demonstrates the real intention to use armed force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity, sovereignty and constitutional order of Belarus.
As military threat will be also considered armed conflicts against the independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty and constitutional order of Belarus, the conduct of military mobilization in another country with the aim to attack Belarus, application and demonstration of power, which are carried out in violation of the UN Charter and point to the preparations for an attack.
What concerns other threats, that is an attack in Belarus, in the law this concept is interpreted as follows: "invasion of the Armed Forces of another state or states on the territory of Belarus, or military occupation". It also includes the annexation of Belarus or its part with the use of armed forces, missile and air strikes by the army of another state, and other similar attacks.
The peculiarity of the new edition of the law is that from now on an attack on Belarus will be also considered aggression against any member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which comprises Belarus, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Martial law is introduced by presidential decree and approved within three days by the Council of the Republic.
The law also regulates and delineates the powers of state bodies in a state of war: the president, the government, the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the KGB and the Prosecutor's Office, the State Customs Committee, State Border Committee.
The Ministry of Information has received the powers to prepare the list of media, publishers and distributors of printed publications which can continue to operate in the state of war.