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Russia, Belarus expand program of military drills due to new threats — defense minister

October 29, 2014, 16:38 UTC+3 MINSK

The expansion of the program is linked to the changing situation near Russia's borders and in the world

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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

MINSK, October 29. /TASS/. Russia and Belarus are expanding the program of military exercises in 2015 due to new threats posed to the Union State, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

“The expansion of the program is linked to the changing situation near our borders and in the world as a whole,” Shoigu said after a session of the ministerial collegium.

“We would like to drill actions due to new threats to the Union State,” he said, adding that both parties had summed up the results of joint events to ensure the operation of the regional group of forces.

Belarusian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin said his ministry was expanding the format of Union Shield 2015 drills on the proposal of his Russian counterpart.

“The Union Shield 2015 joint drills will be the key event of combat training in the 2015 plan. They will take place at firing ranges of Russia and Belarus,” Zhadobin said.

“On the proposal of Sergei Kuzhugetovich [Shoigu] we’ve made certain changes and expanded training points due to be drilled at the exercises themselves and before them,” he said.

Russia to keep developing foreign military bases

On Tuesday Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia will actively keep developing its military bases abroad.

“We keep developing our bases abroad: in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia. We are developing them rather actively,” Shoigu said at a meeting of the Public Council under the Defense Ministry.

He recalled that recently a Russian squadron went on combat duty in Belarus.

“We have settled there and started combat duty,” Shoigu said.

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