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21 February 2024, 15:32

Belarusian Defense Ministry gives its take on Defender2024 ultimate goal

MINSK, 21 February (BelTA) - The scale of the Defender 2024 exercise, the areas of deployment and the tasks to be drilled give us grounds to conclude that its ultimate goal is to test the ability of the NATO combined armed forces and the armed forces of partner countries to set up groups of troops (forces) on the NATO eastern flank in the shortest possible time, Colonel Valery Revenko, Head of the International Military Cooperation Department, Aide for International Military Cooperation to the Belarusian Defense Minister, said at a press briefing for representatives of the military-diplomatic corps accredited with the Defense Ministry of Belarus, BelTA has learned. 

"Defender 2024, a series of exercises of the NATO combined armed forces and the U.S. armed forces, will be held in the European region in February-May. A series of exercises will be held under the general names Steadfast Defender 2024 and Defender Europe 2024. They will involve numerous military contingents of all NATO member states and invitee Sweden," Valery Revenko said.

This military activity is openly touted as the largest in the last 40 years. "According to NATO, Steadfast Defender alone will involve more than 90,000 servicemen," he added.

Valery Revenko noted that the border areas of Poland and the Baltic states in close proximity to Belarus were chosen as the main deployment sites for a reason. "While declaring their commitment to the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, NATO member states have fallen short to ensure the openness and transparency of combat training activities, which casts doubt on their declared defensive nature,” Valery Revenko said. 

The scale of the Defender 2024 exercise, the areas of deployment and the tasks to be drilled give us grounds to conclude that its ultimate goal is to test the ability of the NATO combined armed forces and the armed forces of partner countries to set up groups of troops (forces) on the NATO eastern flank in the shortest possible time and to conduct a joint offensive operation of the operational-strategic level in the Belarusian and Russian directions, he said. 
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