MINSK, 31 March (BelTA) – The Belarus president is in control of Russian troops in Belarus. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in his Address to the nation and the parliament on 31 March, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Understanding that Belarus covers the western flank of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, President Putin and I have decided on the partial deployment of the regional military force. We are training it just in case. This decision has been implemented. Since last autumn Russian army units have been rotated in and out of Belarusian military exercise areas. The troops are going through combat training and are ready to act together to protect our common defensive space.”
The president stated: “Don't stress out that Russia has occupied something here. All these Russian units are being trained by 500 Belarusian officers. Combat shakedown is in progress as well as training. Weapons and materiel are provided if necessary. Under our control. Russia has something else to take care of. This is why you don't have to scare people by saying Putin has captured Belarus. We, I am in control of these troops, who are located in the territory of Belarus. I've brought them here to train, equip, and teach how to work together if, god forbid, they have to do it.”
In his words, by spreading rumors that Belarus has been captured, external forces are trying to cause tensions and disarray inside the country. By claiming that territorial independence and sovereignty have been lost.