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20 January 2022, 14:56

Russian FM shares Belarus' concerns over NATO buildup along its border

Maria Zakhatova. Photo courtesy of the Russian FM
Maria Zakhatova. Photo courtesy of the Russian FM

MOSCOW, 20 January (BelTA) - Russian Foreign Ministry shares Belarus' concerns over the NATO buildup along the Belarusian border, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova told a press briefing in Moscow on 20 January, BelTA has learned.

"There is information that Poland has relocated tens of thousands of soldiers to the Belarusian border," Maria Zakharova said. “I wonder when the American media and, accordingly, American politicians, representatives of the state will start assuming Poland's imminent invasion of Belarus? This is how they reason: if a country moves its troops to another country's border, albeit on its own territory, this is a clear signal of an invasion. When will that happen? Or is it different? Or Poland may do what others may not? Or a NATO country may move its armed forces to the border of a non-NATO country without explanation, on its own volition or on the orders from Brussels, while the non-NATO country is strictly forbidden to do so? A NATO country may relocate its armed forces, and this is normal, this is right, because ‘NATO is for peace'? When the other side, seeing the maneuvers, takes steps in response to ensure its security, then this is definitely a sign of aggression. It's like a distorted mirror, at best. It is not even hypocrisy or double standards. This is a complete lack of logic.”

"Of course, we share the concern of Belarus, our ally, over the NATO buildup along its border," Maria Zakharova noted. “This is the common border of the Union State and also of the CSTO, in case anyone has forgotten about it. Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine are blatantly redeploying their armed forces, military hardware to their borders, building military infrastructure there. They do not bother with explanations. It is obvious that these actions are provocative. These countries, however, do not consider it necessary to explain or justify anything.

Maria Zakharova stressed that these are provocations that Belarus' neighboring states arrange one after another. “Both Russia and Belarus are forced to respond adequately in this regard, including with airspace patrols, regular joint exercises, drills, and so on,” she said.

The decision to conduct a snap inspection of the Union State's response forces and the Allied Resolve exercise come as part of such joint events, the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. “Unlike our Western counterparts, we do not hide our plans, we act openly, explain everything, answer any emerging questions and talk about the activities to beef up the defense of the Union State. I say this because our U.S. counterparts have already released another thriller about Russia's imminent attack on Ukraine from Belarus' territory. There is no doubt that Western propaganda will be furiously promoting this Washington narrative in the coming weeks. We cannot rule out that they are preparing their own large-scale provocative plans that might entail the gravest consequences,” she stressed.

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