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10 May 2022, 14:51

Belarus' defense minister comments on NATO exercises

MINSK, 10 May (BelTA) - The Armed Forces of Belarus are carefully watching what is going on in the neighboring countries during NATO's large-scale exercise Defender Europe 2022, and respond adequately to these events, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin told the media following the meeting with the Belarusian president to discuss this year's state defense contracts on 10 May, BelTA has learned.

The minister stressed that a surprise inspection of the response forces of the Armed Forces began in Belarus on 4 May. Its second stage is due to start on 10 May, he added. “This has been planned as an adequate response to the Defender Europe exercises which are underway on the territory of NATO countries since 1 May. We see their every move. We see what battalion tactical groups are engaged, at what ranges, and what issues they are going to work out. Understanding certain threats that may come from them, we respond adequately, and we move the appropriate troops to these areas,” Viktor Khrenin said.

As BelTA has reported, earlier the Belarusian Defense Ministry informed that from 1 to 27 May 27, a large-scale multinational exercise Defender Europe 2022 is held across 19 European states, and also the Baltic Sea and North Sea.

The exercise is to drill various options for the deployment of coalition forces in Europe, to check the readiness and capabilities of the infrastructure of European states for the reception and deployment of reinforcement troops (forces), use of coalition groups of troops (forces) and their comprehensive support during an operation in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states. The DE22 uses the training grounds and training centers of the states neighboring on Belarus: Adazi (Latvia), Pabrade (Lithuania), Zagan, Orzysz (Poland) and Drawsko(Poland).

Journalists have repeatedly asked the Belarusian president about the exercise and the possible threat to Belarus. For example, following a ceremony on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of Great Victory on 9 May, the head of state was asked about the recent reports on the internet suggesting that Poland is planning to attack Belarus and is holding a large-scale military exercise.

"Let them try. We defeated enemies here much stronger than Poland. So if they want to give it a try, let them do it. Although I am concerned about this as well. They have built up the military presence from 3,000 to 32,000 or even 40,000 in Poland and Lithuania. We have been watching this situation very carefully. I've always told the military: we shouldn't miss anything. We must not repeat 1941. Therefore, we will respond," the president said.

"We know how our army measures against NATO (a military machine)... But Russia is behind us, a nuclear power. We have an appropriate agreement. We have often discussed this topic recently with the Russian president," the Belarusian leader said.

He also stressed that it is impossible to defeat a nation who fights on their land, for their territory, for their families and children.

"Probably, they somehow want to distract us, Belarus and Russia, from Ukraine. They are complete fools. They are doing public campaigns never understanding what Polish, Lithuanian, or German soldiers live by. No one wants war, above all soldiers. Since the military do not need the war, it means that it will not happen," the head of state summed up.

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