Lukashenka to Russian partners: Belarus able to adequately respond to NATO reinforcement

Alyaksandr Lukashenka at Independence Day parade, July 2014. Phot. president.

Belarus is adequately responding to NATO reinforcement near the borders of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, president Lukashenka said Tuesday at the 16th session of the CIS Council of Heads of Supreme Audit Institutions.

According to the Belarusian leader, although Russians often mention that new NATO forces are getting closer to the Russian border, those troops are being deployed primarily near Belarusian borders.

“I see that today the Russian leadership acts in the same manner in the western direction. I mean we have a common military force in the west to take care of the security of our fatherland — Belarus and Russia. Belarusian army units are at the heart of this military force. If there is a conflict, they will be the first to go into action and within a short period of time the army units deployed in the western parts of the Russian Federation will move here,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka as saying.

“We are not trying to hide the facts from our Western colleagues – half partners, half competitors. They are perfectly aware of our agreements with Russia,” he added.

In early April, the Belarusian parliament passed the first reading of the country’s new military doctrine, which prohibits its armed forces from participating in military operations abroad. For the first time the doctrine announced the country’s openness dialogue with the European Union and development of common ground with NATO. “The basic idea is – we’re open for cooperation with everyone, providing Belarus national interests are observed,” Defense Minister Andrey Raukou said.

Four NATO battalion combat teams will be stationed in Poland and the Baltic States on a rotational basis, Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in late May. The minister stressed that the decision had already been taken but talks were still under way on technical details. He also added that one of the teams would be stationed in Poland and the remaining three in the Baltic States.

Moreover, on June 7, Anakonda 2016 war game which are bringing more than 25,000 service members from 24 NATO and partner nations together has started in Poland.

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