MINSK, 6 October (BelTA) – The danger that the troops deployed near the Belarusian border can be used against Belarus remains in place. Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin made the statement during a briefing in the Central House of Officers, BelTA has learned.
According to Viktor Khrenin, taking into account an analysis of the international situation and its projected evolution one can make several conclusions testifying to the presence of direct challenges to Belarus' military security. “The first conclusion. It is also the key one. Despite the absence of signs indicating that preparations are in progress to launch aggression, the danger that the forces deployed along our borders can be used against Belarus remains in place. The unprecedented buildup of American and NATO military forces in the Eastern Europe region confirms that,” the Belarusian defense minister is convinced.
Viktor Khrenin stated that over 60,000 U.S. military personnel are already permanently stationed in Europe. They are equipped with modern assault weapons. About 35,000 military personnel have also been deployed as part of the operations taking place in Eastern Europe, of them over 22,000 are deployed in Poland and the Baltic states.
“If the West launches military aggression, these aircraft and ships will be capable of delivering strikes against our installations and troops all over Belarus,” Viktor Khrenin stressed.
The official went on saying that the Defense Ministry views regular flights of American strategic bombers in the air space of the countries Belarus borders on as nothing but a demonstration of military might and a threat of using air assault assets.
Viktor Khrenin said: “Today we believe that the NATO forces in neighboring countries can become the core for creating attack groups against Russia and Belarus as its closest ally. With this in mind in order to enhance the ability to welcome and station NATO military forces vigorous work to build military infrastructure is in progress in neighboring countries. The modernization of most of the airfields in Poland and the Baltic states has been virtually completed. They can be used to accommodate up to 200 combat aircraft. Naval bases and ports are being actively modernized in order to improve their ability to accommodate NATO's landing crafts and attack ships.”
The official added that forward bridgeheads are being created to stock vehicles, supplies, and materiel of U.S. armed forces in advance. Military training areas in Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia are being reconstructed in order to accommodate needs of the NATO military contingent. Apart from that, the construction of a new military training area is nearing completion in Latvia near the Belarusian border although the work was originally slated for completion in 2024. New mobile container-based camps able to house thousands of military personnel are being built at a fast pace.
“The existing infrastructure already enables prompt redeployment and housing of up to one division and one flying squadron of combat aviation from the continental USA or over 20,000 people,” the Belarusian defense minister added.