MoD threatens West with ‘additional steps’ in wake of ‘politicised’ reaction to 2020 election

Belarusian MoD holds briefing. 22 February 2021. Photo:

On February 22, Aleh Voinau, Head of the MoD International Military Cooperation Department and the minister’s aide, gave a briefing for the military attaches accredited at the Defence Ministry of Belarus.

According to him, certain countries’ reaction to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in Belarus was ‘politicised’, which failed to contribute to building ‘friendly relations’. Such change made the Belarusian side ‘reassess the military and political situation’, Voinau stressed.

Among the issues of concern, the top officer named deploying the European segment of the missile defense system, launching the Forward Command of the US V Corps in Poland, developing the infrastructure for the deployment of up to 20,000 US troops, increased intelligence activity, flight intensity of the US Air Force strategic bomber aircraft, as well as the ‘destabilising factor’ of the Defender 2020 in Europe exercise.

“If the Western countries continue to escalate tensions, Belarus reserves the right to take a number of additional steps to beef up national security in 2021,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Voinau.

At the same time, the participants in the briefing were informed about the most important events which are to involve the Belarusian Armed Forces in 2021, e.g. the Belarusian-Russian drills Zapad 2021 (West 2021), the CSTO operational strategic exercise Combat Brotherhood 2021, Indestructible Brotherhood 2021 (to be held in Russia), Interaction 2021, Search 2021, and Echelon 2021 (Tajikistan is to be the host country).

As reported earlier, Defence Minister Viktar Khrenin delivered a stern warning to those who were taking to the streets amid post-election protests in mid August: “If order and peace are disturbed, the army, not the police, will be dealing with you!”

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