MINSK, 4 September (BelTA) - A joint meeting of the defense ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization member states, which was attended by a delegation of the Armed Forces of Belarus led by Defense Minister Major-General Viktor Khrenin, took place in Moscow Oblast on 4 September, BelTA learned from the website of the Belarusian Defense Ministry.
The Belarusian defense minister presented his report “On international and regional security, consolidation of efforts to prevent the threat of war and armed conflict, further strengthening of military cooperation in modern conditions”. In his speech, the defense minister stated that among the main factors negatively affecting the modern architecture of international security one should highlight the aggravation of military, political and economic contradictions between states and military and political blocs, unresolved regional conflicts, attempts to hold color revolutions, terrorism, drug trafficking and related organized crime. It was also emphasized that the events that took place in Belarus in August 2020 testify to the fact.
“Various destructive forces, fueled by the leadership of the states such as Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, attempted unconstitutional changes of power. Thanks to the well-coordinated actions of the state administration and support of the Belarusian people for the president's decisions, the country was saved from lawlessness and mayhem,” Viktor Khrenin said. The minister expressed his gratitude to the military and political leadership of Russia and China, as well as to other states that attended the joint session for assistance to Belarus during these challenging times.
The minister also noted in his speech that at present certain forces in the West, after failing in their attempt to organize a color revolution, are actually moving to the forms and methods of a hybrid war against the Belarusian state, using unprecedented measures of diplomatic, political and economic pressure. Today there is a fierce struggle to gain information superiority.
The military component cannot be left out, too. NATO's rotational force in the neighboring countries has gone up 17 times (to 10,000 soldiers) in recent years. Military equipment and personnel, including the US Army, have concentrated in the immediate vicinity of the Belarusian border. Large-scale multinational exercises are conducted by NATO member states, which have increased five-fold in Belarus' neighboring countries this year alone. The epidemiological situation has made major adjustments to their format and scope, but such plans are cause for concern. It is a challenge to security and stability not only for Belarus, but also for the entire European region.
“We are forced to develop a military response, as we demonstrated during the planned combat training activities that were conducted in the immediate vicinity of the NATO borders in August 2020,” the minister said.
Viktor Khrenin also drew attention to the fact that as a full member of the CIS, CSTO and an observer in the SCO, Belarus advocates a comprehensive strengthening of cooperation between these organizations, including military and military-technical cooperation. TThe importance of adopting a joint statement on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and World War II was emphasized.
“For Belarus, which lost a third of its population during that war, Victory Day is a great sacred holiday. We know well the price of this Victory, that is why we treat history with such reverence, so zealously defend the principles of justice, honesty and equality. The theme of Victory should unite our countries, whose peoples participated in the war on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition, and contribute to the consolidation of efforts in the fight against modern challenges and threats,” Viktor Khrenin said.
As part of the CIS and CSTO formats, the participants of the meeting reviewed and approved 15 decisions in the military, military scientific and technical areas. On the sidelines of the meeting an informal meeting was held between the Belarusian defense minister and member of the Central Military Council, member of the State Council, Minister of Defense of the People's Republic of China, Colonel General Wei Fenghe. The parties analyzed the current state of cooperation and discussed further prospects for bilateral interaction. Viktor Khrenin also discussed the state of interagency cooperation, as well as prospects for its further development with the heads of the defense agencies of the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO.
As part of the cultural program, the Belarusian defense minister visited the main temple of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the museum complex Road of Memory, and, together with other participants of the meeting, took part in a flower ceremony at the monument to the Mothers of Winners.