The upcoming Russian-Belarusian exercises “West-2017” not threaten the sovereignty of Minsk. This was stated by the Minister of defense of Belarus Andrei Ravkov, who called such estimates hysteria and attempt to exploit the theme of Russian-Belarusian relations. Concerns about the teachings expressed in the Baltic States and Ukraine. The fact that the teachings are not a threat, it indicates one important fact.
The Minister of defense of Belarus Andrei Ravkov called hysteria publications in mass media and statements of politicians on the relocation of a large number of Russian military equipment to the Belarusian territory within the framework of the exercises “West-2017” (such publication came out, for example, in DW).
“The doctrine is defensive in nature”
“In the future we plan to strengthen the practical orientation of such activities, taking into account the current international realities”
“The flood last time, some “experts” hysteria about alleged possible occupation of Belarus by Russian troops – no more than an attempt of some marginal structures to gain political dividends or to increase your rating due to the exploitation of the topic of the Belarusian-Russian relations”, – said Ravkov edition “SAT. Belarus today”.
He recalled that the exercises are held alternately every two years on the territories of Belarus and Russia. This year, they should be held in September at the same time on multiple polygons. As reported by the media, Russia is planning to deliver to Belarus about 4 thousand cars military equipment and weapons.
Note that the last time the military exercises “Zapad” held in 2013 in Russia, and before that in 2009 in Belarus. In 2015 the two countries held military exercises “Union Shield – 2015″ at the sites in the Leningrad and Pskov regions, involving more than 8 thousand soldiers and about 400 units of military equipment.
Exercises, assured Ravkov, can not pose a threat to Belarusian sovereignty by definition. Ideas, areas a, the number of troops and Russian military equipment are developed and agreed with Minsk. “Any troop movements are also controlled by us. There is no threat and Western States, as the doctrine is defensive in nature, not directed against third countries and only solves the problem of strategic deterrence”, – assured the Minister.
According to him, Belarus is building with Russia a common defense space, “the upcoming maneuvers is one of the forms of preparation of the combined group”. He recalled that according to Military doctrine of Belarus a priority in the defense policy of the coalition is the strengthening of the collective security system and the further development of relations with Russia.
“The sphere of military and military-technical cooperation of Russia and Belarus was and remains the locomotive for the development of our relations, and military cooperation just shows the level of interaction, which should be between the fraternal peoples”, – said Andrei Ravkov.
“Lukashenko looks worried”
Serious concerns about the exercise was expressed by the representative of the Belarusian opposition Alyaksandr Lyabedzka. “Many are afraid, not that they (the Russians) will come, and whether all leave. This question arises not only from the opposition, not only among citizens, but, I believe, and Alexander Lukashenko, who looks concerned”, – said Lebedko.
Did not hide their dismay and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who expressed confidence that Lukashenko will not provide their territories for the Commission of hostile actions by Russia against Ukraine. “In the North of the Kremlin is increasing pressure on Belarus. Although I am sure that President Lukashenko will not allow what he told me on several occasions, to use its territory for hostile acts against us”, – said Poroshenko.
And the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite said that Russia and Belarus “defiantly preparing for war with the West.” According to her, the threat from the East forced the Baltic countries to ask partners about additional security guarantees, such as the speed of decision-making in NATO. Lithuanian intelligence called the exercise the main challenge to national security. According to Lithuanian officials, during previous similar exercises the occupation of the southern part of Lithuania and blocking the only land route of NATO in the Baltic countries.
In mid-February, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance is watching the preparations for the exercises “West-2017”. “At the moment we pay some attention to military exercises, including exercises of the “West”. For me it shows the importance of dialogue with Russia”, – said the Secretary General.
“There is nothing complicated there, go to planned exercises”
The head of the military forecasting Center Anatoly Tsyganok recalled that in the framework of the Union state there are joint exercises, but there is a common air defence system. However, the actions of NATO in its expansion near Russian borders could not remain unanswered.
“When NATO increased its force, and the Russians near the Belarusian borders has increased the presence of three motorized rifle divisions and conduct regular exercises on the territory of Belarus. There is nothing complicated there, go to planned exercises,” – said Tsyganok the newspaper VIEW.
He explained that talking about some kind of threat to Ukraine and the Baltic countries would be possible only in the case if the exercise was conducted suddenly. “But these exercises planned. Military attaches of NATO in advance acquainted with the plans of the exercise. So, to say that the exercises all of a sudden, I would not. No threat in the upcoming trainings “West-2017,” no”, – assured the military expert.
The Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu has announced joint military exercises with Belarus in November last year. He said that when planning takes into account the situation at the borders of the Union state, associated with the growth of activity of NATO.
Strategic maneuvers will become “the main event of joint training of our armed forces in 2017”. In particular, will be worked out tasks for the planning, management and use of troops. According to Shoigu, the joint activities of the Ministry of defense of Russia and Belarus “, the emphasis is on the training of military control bodies and troops maintaining the required level of interoperability”. “In the future we plan to strengthen the practical orientation of such events given current international realities,” the Minister added.