Belarus sees no direct military threat in US troops' deployment at its border — top brass

2019/11/1573563305.jpg
Read: 459     17:32     12 November 2019    

Belarus is worried about NATO’s intensified activities in neighboring countries but it doesn’t see any direct military threat in the deployment of US soldiers near the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov said on Tuesday.


"Obviously, it is not an aggression or direct military threat. But it is likewise obvious that military threat to the country is growing," BelTA agency quoted him as saying.

He recalled that a tank battalion of the US ground force — 500 servicemen, 29 Abrams tanks, and 25 Bradley fighting vehicles — had been deployed at Lithuania’s Pabrade training range located some 15 kilometers away from the Belarusian border as part of the Atlantic Resolve operation.

According to Ravkov, NATO’s military contingent deployed in the countries neighboring Belarus during the Atlantic Resolve and Enhanced Forward Presence has been increased by 13 times in the past six years, from 550 to more than 7,000 troops, and the number of hardware units has grown fivefold.

Moreover, in his words, the United States is looking at possible deployment of joint force groupings in Eastern Europe. These aspects will be covered by the Defender-Europe 20 exercises to be organized on the territories of ten states, including Poland and the Baltic republics that border Belarus. "The drills will reportedly involve about 37,000 troops, with 20,000 of them from the United States," Ravkov noted.

He also said that the number of NATO drills near the Belarusian border and the number of personnel involved in these drills had more than doubled in the past five years. "Defense spending has increased as well. In the past five years, Poland’s military budget soared by 30%, that of Lithuania — by 2.5 times, and Latvia’s — threefold," the Belarusian defense minister stressed.

In such conditions, he underscored, Belarus is forced to take response measures. "We are forced to react to the scale-up of military activities in Europe, including in close proximity to our border. Our response will not necessarily be tit-for-tat. We were ready for such development of the military political situation that is why our reaction has a planned character," he noted. "Thus, in the past three years, the Belarusian military have increased the number of exercises by more than 20% and the number of snap combat readiness checks have doubled."

Moreover, according to him, additional border protection measures will be taken in the near future and the number of troops deployed at the Lithuanian border will be expanded. Apart from that, plans for the employment of the regional taskforce of the Union State of Russia and Belarus will be amended in 2020, he added.

TASS



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Belarus sees no direct military threat in US troops' deployment at its border — top brass

2019/11/1573563305.jpg
Read: 460     17:32     12 November 2019    

Belarus is worried about NATO’s intensified activities in neighboring countries but it doesn’t see any direct military threat in the deployment of US soldiers near the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov said on Tuesday.


"Obviously, it is not an aggression or direct military threat. But it is likewise obvious that military threat to the country is growing," BelTA agency quoted him as saying.

He recalled that a tank battalion of the US ground force — 500 servicemen, 29 Abrams tanks, and 25 Bradley fighting vehicles — had been deployed at Lithuania’s Pabrade training range located some 15 kilometers away from the Belarusian border as part of the Atlantic Resolve operation.

According to Ravkov, NATO’s military contingent deployed in the countries neighboring Belarus during the Atlantic Resolve and Enhanced Forward Presence has been increased by 13 times in the past six years, from 550 to more than 7,000 troops, and the number of hardware units has grown fivefold.

Moreover, in his words, the United States is looking at possible deployment of joint force groupings in Eastern Europe. These aspects will be covered by the Defender-Europe 20 exercises to be organized on the territories of ten states, including Poland and the Baltic republics that border Belarus. "The drills will reportedly involve about 37,000 troops, with 20,000 of them from the United States," Ravkov noted.

He also said that the number of NATO drills near the Belarusian border and the number of personnel involved in these drills had more than doubled in the past five years. "Defense spending has increased as well. In the past five years, Poland’s military budget soared by 30%, that of Lithuania — by 2.5 times, and Latvia’s — threefold," the Belarusian defense minister stressed.

In such conditions, he underscored, Belarus is forced to take response measures. "We are forced to react to the scale-up of military activities in Europe, including in close proximity to our border. Our response will not necessarily be tit-for-tat. We were ready for such development of the military political situation that is why our reaction has a planned character," he noted. "Thus, in the past three years, the Belarusian military have increased the number of exercises by more than 20% and the number of snap combat readiness checks have doubled."

Moreover, according to him, additional border protection measures will be taken in the near future and the number of troops deployed at the Lithuanian border will be expanded. Apart from that, plans for the employment of the regional taskforce of the Union State of Russia and Belarus will be amended in 2020, he added.

TASS



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