MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia agreed to deploy a joint regional group of forces, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting on security matters, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that he had a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the informal CIS summit in St. Petersburg. "Given the worsening of the situation on the western borders of the Union State, we agreed to deploy a regional group of forces of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. This complies with our documents. It says that if the threat level reaches the level as it is now, we begin to use the Union State group of forces. The basis (I have always said this) of this group is the army, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus. I must inform you that the formation of this group has begun. It's been going on for, I think, two days. I gave an order to start forming this group," the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that Russia cannot deal with another conflict now. "Last thing they need is another conflict. You know they have enough problems. Therefore, we should not expect a large number of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. But it will be more than one thousand people," he said.
"Please get ready to host these people soon and accommodate them where necessary, according to our plan. Without going over the top, keeping things calm," Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the defense minister.