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17 February 2022, 12:11

Lukashenko: Decision on joint group of forces will be made during meeting with Putin

OSIPOVICHI DISTRICT, 17 February (BelTA) – We will discuss further operations of the joint group of forces during a meeting with the Russian president on 18 February, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told the media as he reviewed the Belarusian-Russian exercise Allied Resolve 2022 at the Osipovichi training ground on 17 February, BelTA has learned.

"We will make all appropriate decisions tomorrow," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president noted that the United States has thousands of troops thousands of kilometers away, so he does not quite understand the complaints about the presence of the Russian Armed Forces in Belarus. "This is our decision: to withdraw the troops tomorrow or in a month. They will be here as long as necessary. This is our land, our territory. We need to train and we will continue doing so," the head of state said.

The president was also asked whether it makes sense to keep some Russian troops that are taking part in the exercise after the exercise is over. "If it makes sense to keep Russian troops here, we will keep them as long as necessary. I emphasize once again: this is our territory and this decision is up to us. Right now the United States is deploying thousands of troops to Poland, thousands of kilometers away [from the United States]. Do they ask us or Russians for permission? No. Why should we ask anyone? We will keep the troops here as long as necessary. We will keep as many as we need in order to protect our territory and show everyone that we are ready to defend our land," the head of state said.

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