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18 January 2022, 16:47

Russia's Defense Ministry: Belarus, Russia military are preparing to respond to any threat

An archive photo
An archive photo

MOSCOW, 18 January (BelTA) – On 18 January the Defense Ministries of Belarus and Russia held briefings for military attachés on the forthcoming inspection of the Union State rapid response forces. The briefing in Moscow was attended by 98 representatives of the military and diplomatic corps accredited in Russia, including those from 16 NATO countries. The press service of the Russian Defense Ministry sent BelTA the key takeaways of the briefing hosted by Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin.

The drills were agreed upon by the presidents of Belarus and Russia

According to Alexander Fomin, the inspection of the rapid response forces involves a number of scenarios to neutralize threats and destabilization risks on the borders of Russia and Belarus. The plans to hold such an inspection were made by the presidents of the two countries at the end of 2021. “The presidents of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus agreed to hold the event back in December last year. Back then the heads of state decided to conduct an unscheduled inspection of the troops and assess their readiness to maintain military security, as well as to work out various scenarios of joint actions to neutralize threats and to stabilize the situation on the borders of the Union State,” he said.

He recalled that various options of using the regional group of troops (forces) are being tested regularly. “Last year, we conducted the Zapad 2021 exercise. It confirmed the high combat readiness of the group,” Alexander Fomin said.

The Union State might need to use its entire defense potential

It was noted at the briefing that the capabilities of the regional group might not be enough to maintain security, therefore the group might be reinforced. Therefore, the military of Belarus and Russia are considering a possibility to make use of the entire defense capacity of the two countries in order to ensure the security of the Union State. “A situation may arise when the forces and means of the regional group will not be enough to ensure the security of the Union State, and we must be ready to reinforce it. We have agreed that we will make use of the entire defense capacity of the Union State,” Alexander Fomin said.

In his words, the upcoming drills in Belarus will involve some of the command centers and units of Russia's Eastern Military District, currently engaged in the snap inspection of the Russian Armed Forces.

Accomplishing immediate tasks in any sensitive directions

“The combat readiness inspection of the Union State's response forces will envisage activities to prepare troops and forces to act not only within their areas of responsibility, but also to deal with immediate tasks to localize crisis situations in any sensitive directions,” Alexander Fomin said. The capabilities of the transport infrastructure to ensure the transportation of troops (forces) will be assessed during the redeployment of the Russian units to Belarus.

Redeployment of S-400 and Pantsir-S systems

According to Alexander Fomin, the combat readiness inspection of the Union State joint response forces will be held in two stages and will finish on 20 February. Twelve Sukhoi-35 fighter jets, two battalions of air defense system S-400, a missile and artillery battalion Pantsir-S will be sent to Belarus from Russia for participation in the exercise. In his words, the first stage of the exercise will run through 9 February. Military groups will be redeployed to protect the most sensitive directions and key government and military facilities, as well as the Union State's air border, including the Belarus-Russia regional air defense system.

The exercise will check the readiness and ability of the air defense forces on duty, including the joint command combat air defense center, to provide protection for key facilities in Belarus. "Within the framework of testing the single air defense system of the Union State, Russia will redeploy twelve Sukhoi-35 jets and two battalions of the air defense system S-400, as well as a missile and artillery battalion Pantsir-S to Belarus," Alexander Fomin said.

During this phase the military units delegated by Russia's Eastern Military District and Belarusian forces involved will be conducting firing and other drills, he said. Tactical exercises will be held at different training grounds to practice defensive operations and actions against illegal armed groups, Alexander Fomin noted.

"The joint exercise Allied Resolve 2022 will be held at the second stage of the inspection, from 10 to 20 February. The purpose of the exercise is to practice suppressing and repelling external aggression in the course of a defensive operation, countering terrorism and protecting the interests of the Union State," said Alexander Fomin.

According to him, the exercise will drill reinforcing state border sections in potential areas of illegal penetration of armed groups into Belarus and shutting down channels of the supply of arms, munitions and other means and also searching for, blocking and eliminating outlawed armed militants and enemy subversive and reconnaissance groups.

The troops will practice their joint operations at the Obuz-Lesnovsky, Osipovichsky, Brestsky, Gozhsky and Domanovsky training grounds and also at some terrain sections in Belarus. The exercise will also involve the airfields in Baranovichi, Luninets, Lida and Machulishchi, the Russian deputy defense minister said.

He noted that in terms of the strength of the engaged personnel, basic armaments and military hardware, the upcoming inspection is not subject to prior notification in accordance with the 2011 Vienna document.

"The main goal of the inspection is to assess the ability of the military command bodies and troops (forces) to perform tasks to ensure the military security of the Union State," Alexander Fomin noted.

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