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03 February 2017, 14:26

Lukashenko confirms readiness for Belarus-Russia army exercise Zapad 2017

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Belarus is ready to host the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Zapad 2017. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with representatives of the general public, Belarusian and foreign mass media on 3 February, BelTA has learned.

“We will host the exercise,” said the Belarusian head of state.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that he had suggested arranging army exercises interchangeably in Belarus and Russia every two years to President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The Zapad 2017 exercise will be an open one. “Those, who want to make sure we are not going to assault anyone, will be invited to attend the army exercise,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “Our becoming an aggressor for some country is unthinkable. Our stance is purely defensive,” stated the Belarus President.

Speaking about the criticism of the forthcoming army exercise by several mass media, the head of state made it clear that Russia has no intention of occupying Belarus. “The Russian army units, which are going to come to Belarus, will leave just the way they will arrive. Russia is never going to occupy Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced.

The President remarked that national defense is what matters. “Economy is useless if people cannot feel secure, if they are unprotected,” concluded the head of state.

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