MINSK, 29 November (BelTA) – Active military buildup in the neighboring countries exposes helplessness and impotence of Western politicians, Belarus' Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin told reporters after a meeting to discuss military security matters hosted by Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko at the strategic control center of the Defense Ministry, BelTA has learned.
According to the minister, tensions are running high around Belarus. “We see military buildup along our western and southern border. Neighboring countries are actively boosting their defense capabilities, and this cannot but cause concern, therefore we are forced to plan response measures,” the defense minister said.
He believes that the neighboring countries are deliberately over-dramatizing the situation in order to justify their military buildup along the border with Belarus. “This shows helplessness and powerlessness of them and their leadership. Instead of dealing with this situation using political instruments, they are deploying such a substantial number of troops,” Viktor Khrenin said. At the 29 November meeting, the president of Belarus once again emphasized that this way Western politicians are trying to divert the attention of their population away from mounting domestic problems. According to Viktor Khrenin, Western politicians should come to grips with their own domestic problems instead of brandishing their weapons at the border with Belarus. “Our president said today that by doing this they might be trying to push us to respond to provocations. All our troops are in their permanent duty stations, and on 1 December we will embark on active combat training,” the minister said.
"We are not carrying out any additional measures to bring the Armed Forces to the highest degree of combat readiness," he stressed. "But our commander-in-chief has set a clear task: to make plans how we respond to any of their unfriendly actions, and, if necessary, to begin to act on these plans."
Viktor Khrenin said that at the meeting he reported on the priority areas of the development of the Armed Forces. According to him, Belarus will continue the comprehensive training of troops together with the strategic ally Russia with a view to adequately countering emerging new threats and aggression against the Union State. A set of measures has been drawn up for the medium term to cover the southern direction. Belarus and Russia will continue improving the unified regional air defense system. In addition, the readiness of the territorial defense forces and means is maintained, but there are not yet plans on their deployment in the current situation. "They are well-equipped and well-staffed," the minister said. "However, we are not planning to involve our territorial defense in the current conditions."