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12 July 2022, 12:39

Lukashenko slams NATO as ‘newly-minted crusaders'

MINSK, 12 July (BelTA) – Under the guise of strengthening the defense of Europe and conducting "defensive" exercises, NATO is putting together an armored strike force clearly meant not for defense, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a ceremony to honor graduates of military schools and high-ranking officers in Minsk on 12 July, BelTA has learned.

"I am sure that at military universities you carefully studied the development of the military and political situation and perfectly understand what is happening on our western borders. Under the guise of strengthening the defense of Europe and conducting all kinds of ‘defensive' exercises, NATO countries are putting together an armored strike force, clearly meant not for defense. The military understand this," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Apparently, the newly-minted ‘crusaders' of the North Atlantic Alliance suddenly decided that the time is right for another ‘Drang nach Osten', forgetting how similar campaigns ended for their historical predecessors.”

The head of state stated that Western countries are actively conducting reconnaissance on the ground and in the air, mapping out military logistics, conducting exercises, deploying hardware and stocks from other regions, and simultaneously increasing the military budgets.

"The neutral Sweden and Finland suddenly expressed a desire to urgently join NATO, and the bloc, contrary to its rules, is ready to admit them into the alliance in an expedited manner. Mind you, without even asking for the opinions of the peoples of these countries. At the recent summit, NATO announced intentions to critically strengthen its presence and influence in Europe," the president recalled.

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