Commander of the troops of the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces Andrei Kartapolov said that preparations for joint exercises of Russia and Belarus “The Union Shield 2019” have already begun.
He stated this in his speech at a conference in Minsk, stressing that the NATO bloc “continues to increase the combat capabilities of its group in Eastern Europe”.
Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Major-General Pavel Muraveika, noted that recently a number of issues arose on which it is necessary to coordinate positions within the Regional Group of Forces.
“This applies primarily to the organization of command and control, the joint use of manned and unmanned aircraft, the interaction between the forces of the territorial defense of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian part of the regional grouping of troops,” the Major-General emphasized.
He also added that Belarus would like to study the Syrian experience of the Russian army.
The “Union Shield” is a large-scale exercise of Belarus and Russia, which were held three times (in 2006 on the Belarusian territory, in 2011 and 2015 – in the territory of the Russian Federation). In 2015, they took place in the Pskov and Leningrad regions, involving over 1,300 servicemen from the Belarusian side.
It is expected that in 2019 the exercises will also be held in Russia.