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03 February 2022, 13:32

Lukashenko talks about main goal of Belarusian-Russian army exercise in Belarus' south

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on 3 February. Among other things Aleksandr Lukashenko talked about the main goal of the Belarusian-Russian army exercise in Belarus' south, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We are conducting the exercise. We've agreed, including with you, that we will choose the time for arranging this exercise in order not to interfere with the economy and agriculture. And we will stage a major army exercise in Belarus' south. We've discussed the matter with the [Russian] president twice. Concepts were improved all the time. I thank you for organizing this exercise. We still need a little bit of time for the troops to redeploy from the Russian Federation. We have absolutely no problems here. Everything planned on our side has been practically implemented. I think we will begin the active phase of the exercise on 10 February or so.”

“Whatever people may be shouting about here, it is clear that after your arrival in Belarus there will be even more wailing but it is their problems. I want to say what main goal we pursue during the exercise. Everyone has noticed that we are relocating a lot of hardware from Russia to Belarus, including modern hardware. As we've agreed with you and with the president of Russia, it is very important for our military personnel to not only see pictures of this hardware but touch it, as they say. In order to learn how to use this hardware together with Russians, their brothers. It is very important for us because we intend to buy virtually all the hardware that will be here from you this year, the next one, and so on. It is very important for us. It is of critical importance for our Union State today due to the behavior of NATO and Ukraine, which is eager to join NATO. This is why we want to learn,” the head of state stated.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also remarked that centers are being set up together with Russia in order to train personnel how to operate cutting-edge Russian weapons. “It was my request for you so that we would set up centers for cutting-edge weapons here. Thank you for accommodating my request,” the president said.

It was noted during the meeting that three such centers have already been set up – two in Russia and one in Belarus. Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin was also present during the meeting.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “We are ready to set up more centers in order to also master air defense systems and the cutting-edge weapons that are being created in Russia's territory. It is of critical importance for us to master them and know how to use them.”

The head of state also mentioned another goal of the joint exercise. “I don't hide it. Today, unfortunately, the southern direction is opening up in Belarus. It is unavoidable. We have to reinforce the border with Ukraine.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “Your aid is important in this regard. Your military specialists will help us define the most sensitive points in this direction in order to create this defense on our southern borders without extra costs. It is also important for the Russian Federation. This is why talks about a war, no war, and so on… If they attack, they will get it. That's all the war there is. I've recently talked about it. We don't need someone else's. We have our hands full mastering our own resources from Brest to Vladivostok.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko also thanked the Russian side for providing support with the Russian Aerospace Forces. “After all it has a cooling effect on the heads of some of our so-called neighbors, who are trying to get ahead of themselves now. It is their right,” the president noted. “The situation is getting aggravated. They are pushing us towards a response. There have been several provocations already, to which we could have responded with weapons. They understand that if we respond, Russia will get involved in it. We are tolerating it for now. But there are constant provocations. This is why I am deeply grateful to you for your constant support and for your favorable responses to our requests. We will repay the debt.”

The president also noted the successful realization of a recent operation for deploying CSTO peacemaking forces to Kazakhstan. “Time will pass and it will be recorded in textbooks. It was a brilliant operation,” he said.

BelTA reported earlier that the Belarusian-Russian army exercise Allied Resolve 2022 will be held at Belarus' western and southern borders. The Belarus president approved the concept of the exercise on 17 January.

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