Putin, Lukashenko Agree on Deployment of Joint Regional Grouping of Forces
08:58 GMT 10.10.2022 (Updated: 10:50 GMT 06.04.2023)
Earlier in the day, the Belarusian president held a meeting with the country's military and security forces, and told reporters that Minsk had been warned through unofficial channels about plans to carry out an attack on Belarusian territory from Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko have agreed on the deployment of a joint regional group of forces.
"In connection with the aggravation of the situation on the western borders of the Union State, we agreed to deploy a regional grouping of forces from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. This complies with our documents. They say that if the threat reaches the level it has now, we begin to use the Union State grouping of forces," Lukashenko said on Monday, his remarks cited by the Belta News Agency.
The Belarusian president clarified that the Belarusian Army constitutes the basis or core of this group of forces.
"I must inform you that the formation of this grouping has begun. It has been going on for, I think two days. I gave an order to start forming this group," Lukashenko said.
Earlier in the day, in a meeting with the country's military and security forces, Lukashenko warned Kiev not to move forward with any plans to carry out a first strike on Belarus.
"I have already said today that Ukraine is not just contemplating, but planning strikes on the territory of Belarus. Of course, the Ukrainians absolutely do not need this. Why would they need to open a second front on our southern border, which is their northern border? This is madness from the military point of view. They are being pushed by their patrons to unleash a war against Belarus in order to draw us into it," Lukashenko said.
The Belarusian president said the message received from unofficial channels was that Ukraine was planning to create a 'Crimean Bridge Part II'-style scenario in Belarus.
"My answer was simple: tell the president of Ukraine and other insane individuals that the Crimean Bridge will seem like flowers to them if they touch even one meter of our territory with their dirty hands," Lukashenko said.
The president ordered the military and security forces, including the KGB, to determine what else needs to be done to strengthen Belarusian security, "taking into account the rapidly changing situation."
Commenting on Lukashenko's comments later in the day Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that "interaction in various fields, including defense, is constantly being discussed during bilateral contacts between Presidents Putin and Lukashenko," and that this interaction is spelled out in the Union State's military doctrine.
Despite its territory being used by Russian forces in the early stages of Moscow's military operation operation in Ukraine, Belarus has so far managed to stay out of the conflict, with its forces deployed westward to face down NATO forces concentrated in Poland and the Baltics. The Ukrainian military launched several attacks against Belarus, with Lukashenko reporting in March that a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile had been shot down by Belarusian air defense troops. A second attack - targeting Belarusian military targets, was foiled in June
11 August 2022, 12:41 GMT
The Belarusian Army has 45,000 active-duty personnel, and 290,000 reservists, among whom 120,000 are members of the country's territorial defense forces.
Russia and Belarus are members of the Union State - a supranational organization created in the late 1990s aimed at the integration of the countries' political, economic and defense policies. The Union State's military doctrine states that any aggression against either of its members constitutes aggression against both, requiring "appropriate measures" to be taken "using all the forces and means" at the countries' disposal to neutralize the threat.
The Ukrainian crisis entered a new phase on Saturday after Ukrainian security forces carried out a terrorist attack against the Crimean Bridge - a key piece of infrastructure linking the peninsula to the Russian mainland to the east. Russia responded by carrying out strikes against infrastructure across Ukraine
10 October 2022, 05:46 GMT