Belarusian troops left for Tajikistan to take part in the CSTO military exercise which is to be held on October 18-23 not far from the Afghan border, the Defence Ministry announced on Friday.
Not only servicemen of the Belarusian Armed Forces, but also spetsnaz fighters of the Internal Troops and employees of the Ministry of Emergencies will be involved in the upcoming drills of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the MoD says. It is not reported how many persons were sent there, but if one judges by the photo, they can see at least fifty.
According to the Belarusian side, the exercise is pre-planned, but the CSTO scheduled it against the background of the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan.
In August, the CSTO noted that the change of power would ‘significantly affect the situation in the Central Asian zone of the CSTO and cause deep concern’. CSTO Secretary General Stanislau Zas said that there was no need to employ the the organisation’s mechanisms to defend the Tajik-Afghan border from Taliban forces then.
“If the situation gets worse threatening the security of the Republic of Tajikistan, the CSTO will use all the collective instruments stipulated by its statutory documents to help the ally,” Stanislau Zas warned.
In late September, representatives of the Taliban terrorist movement said they had sent ‘thousands’ of their troops to the Afghan province of Takhar which is on the border of Tajikistan.