MINSK, 1 December (BelTA) – Given active militarization of the neighboring states, Belarus is forced to respond to ongoing developments and to prepare its Armed Forces for the country's defense, Belarus' Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin told reporters following his meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
He emphasized that this meeting has been planned beforehand. “The meeting has showed how much attention the president pays to the military security of the state amidst the developments around the country. And I will say that it is not the last meeting, there will be more of them,” the minister said.
“There are certain signs showing that the situation is not getting better, it is escalating. And we see that, unfortunately, the neighboring states continue with their military build-up,” Viktor Khrenin said. “I don't want anyone to think that a war would start tomorrow. And the president emphasized that there are no direct preparations for a war. Seeing what our neighbors are doing, we, naturally, are obliged to respond to what is happening and prepare our Armed Forces, our state for defense, first of all. We are not going to threaten or attack anyone. We want to live independently on our territory, make decisions, respect our sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity,” the defense minister said.
During the meeting, the president was briefed on the activities and decisions that had been taken earlier; it was also discussed whether these decisions were sufficient and whether any additional steps were needed. “We have presented a detailed report on what is being done. We have looked at it again in order to make sure that we have not made any mistakes. Indeed, we are well aware that if we now join an arms race, as some states are doing, we can create problems for our economy and cause some social problems. Therefore, the principle of reasonable sufficiency should be at the core of our efforts. And the head of state emphasized that this should be the only criteria. There should not be any extravagance or overspending in any case. First of all, in this situation we must rely on our own resources, on our capabilities to defend our country on our own,” the minister said.
As BelTA reported earlier, during the meeting on 1 December, the president drew attention to the increasing number of provocations near the state border. “Ukraine is using any pretext to draw the troops of the NATO member states into the conflict. The recent missile incident in Poland testifies to the fact,” the head of state said.
“At the same time, we hear more calls from our self-exiled opposition to seize power by force and commit terrorist acts. Some of them are not just traitors, but hard-line extremists. There is no other name for them. They do not hesitate to call for strikes targeting the infrastructure of our country. They have even forgotten that their relatives live in Belarus,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Against this background, Western states continue to build up the military potential of their armed forces, modernize infrastructure in the neighboring countries, and increase the intensity of operational and combat training activities, the president said. “All this leads to the aggravation of the already complicated military and political situation around our country and in the region in general,” he said.
“So far we have managed to restrain the possible enemy from using military force against Belarus. Nevertheless we must constantly monitor, see and by no means miss the signs that would indicate the direct preparation for aggression against our country. Today we need to take a look at what has already been done to protect the state, and to identify the direction in which we need to move further,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “I have always repeated and I would like to say it again that our most important task is to draw lessons from what is happening along the perimeter of Belarus.”