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22 February 2021, 14:12

Response to Belarus presidential election slammed as politicized

MINSK, 22 February (BelTA) – The head of the International Military Cooperation Department of the Defense Ministry – Defense Minister's Aide for International Military Cooperation, Major General Oleg Voinov gave a briefing for the military attaches accredited at the Defense Ministry of Belarus. The event was held in the Central House of Officers in Minsk and covered the issues of the military policy and the development of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus, BelTA learned from the ministry.

Last year was marked by the events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. "We honor the feat of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War and strongly oppose the attempts to rewrite our history, to impose alternative ideas," Oleg Voinov said.

According to him, in 2020 international military cooperation was affected by the pandemic and the disrespect of a number of states to the will of the Belarusian people. “The response to the Belarus presidential election was politicized and was not aimed at developing good-neighborly relations," the department head said. The situation (a combination of external and internal security threats) required reassessment of the military and political situation.”

The official cited the evidence of the gradual deployment of the European segment of the missile defense system, the launch of the Forward Command of the U.S. V Corps in Poland and the development of the infrastructure for the deployment of up to 20,000 U.S. troops, increased intelligence activity and flight intensity of the strategic bomber aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, and the destabilizing factor of the Defender 2020 in Europe exercise. If the Western countries continue to escalate tensions, Belarus reserves the right to take a number of additional steps to beef up national security in 2021, Oleg Voinov noted.

The military attaches were also briefed about the process of construction and development of the Armed Forces of Belarus in 2020. The main training event this year, the joint strategic exercise Zapad 2021, will take place in Belarus and Russia. The CSTO operational strategic exercise Boyevoye Bratstvo 2021 [Combat Brotherhood] will feature Nerushimoye Bratstvo 2021 [Indestructible Brotherhood] in Russia, Interaction 2021, Search 2021, and Echelon 2021 in Tajikistan.

Oleg Voinov voiced Belarus' position on the need for concrete and immediate actions to return to the constructive channel of international interaction in the interests of strengthening international and regional security, and suggested concrete measures for the implementation of these actions. The Belarusian official expressed gratitude to the Minsk Association of Military Attaches, and personally to the representatives of the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, for the assistance provided to the Belarusian Armed Forces in combating COVID-19.

Belarus has been actively exploring the possibility of using its peacekeeping potential. Interaction with Italy was cited as an example. “We are prepared to expand cooperation in this area and we are waiting for your proposals,” Oleg Voinov said.

The coronavirus infection did not have a fundamental effect on the Armed Forces of Belarus. The level of morbidity among servicemen is comparable to the level of morbidity among the civilian population. Vaccination of Belarusian servicemen has already begun. The pandemic has had no impact on the budget of the Armed Forces either. In 2021, 1.03% of GDP will be allocated for the Armed Forces.

Belarus pursues a clear and predictable military policy. Dialogue, reliance on own military capabilities and on collective security are at the heart of this policy.

The event was held under the motto of the Department of International Military Cooperation of the Defense Ministry, namely “Cooperation. Trust. Security”.

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