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NATO pulling heavy weapons closer to Belarusian border — Belarus defense ministry

January 23, 2015, 17:19 UTC+3 MINSK
Along with that, NATO is building up aviation component in the Baltic republics
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MINSK, January 23. /TASS/. Belarus’ leadership cannot ignore changes in the military political situation in the region stemming from NATO’s concentrating additional forces equipped with heavy weapons at the Belarusian border, the Belarusian ministry of defense said on Friday.

“Along with building up aviation component of NATO member countries in the Baltic republics tasked to protect air space, the alliance is consistently concentrating additional army contingents equipped with heavy weapons at the Belarusian border,” the ministry said.

“Regardless of geopolitical motives that guided our foreign partners in taking this decision, the Republic of Belarus has no right to ignore changes in the military political situation in the region fraught with extra risks, challenges and threats to military security of the state,” the ministry said, adding that the country’s military political leaders had taken due account of these aspects in the plan of training Belarusian troops in 2015.

The ministry said that the plan provided for drills in the republic’s border regions. It was also planned, according to the ministry, to enhance protection of the border by army units.

Earlier reports said that flights of US and NATO reconnaissance aircraft have became much more frequent in the Baltic region last year.

According to commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force Viktor Bondarev, these reconnaissance aircraft were flying in the exact vicinity of the Russian borders making it possible to take electronic interceptions to a distance of 500 kilometers inside Russia with an eye of tracing the flights and characteristics of Russia’s electronic systems of control over troops, missile defense and aviation. Bondarev gave an example of the RC-135 aircraft that made more than 140 flights in 2014, in contrast to 22 flights in 2013.

He also said that the North Atlantic Alliance was massively using airborne warning and control system aircraft to survey the air situation over the western section of the Black Sea, Ukraine and western Russia.

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