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Belarusian diplomat says military buildup brings no stabilization

June 20, 2016, 16:41 UTC+3 MINSK

Minsk is against the deployment near its border of any foreign military facilities, armed forces

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© TASS/Viktor Tolochko

MINSK, June 20. /TASS/. Military buildup both in the East and in the West gives no stabilization to anyone, Belarusian Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, the country's permanent representative to the European Union and NATO, Alexander Mikhnevich, said in an interview to the Belarusian television, published by the Foreign Ministry of Belarus on Monday.

"Military buildup in the East or in the West near our borders does not bring stabilization to anybody," the diplomat said, "either to the countries where it is taking place or even to the neutral countries that involuntarily become hostages to this situation due to their geographical location."

According to him, this is why Minsk is against "the deployment in its territory of any foreign military facilities, armed forces." "We don’t support this. We are firm in pursuing this policy", Mikhnevich said.

He said that Belarus wants to develop its own armed forces to the extent sufficient for protecting its sovereignty. Commenting on the Polonez multiple launch rocket system’s combat training launches carried out in the country last week, he said that the Belarusian side "does not claim to play some geopolitical game here." "Therefore, the MLRS launch it's just, so to speak, acceptable, as they say. This is exactly in accordance with our military doctrine," Mikhnevich said.

As for cooperation with NATO, the ambassador said that "NATO should not be perceived only as a military organization." According to him, during the preparation of the 2014 IIHF World Championship, for example, Belarus and NATO jointly conducted exercises and held seminars on the fight against terrorist acts.

"Finally, we have accumulated certain arsenals, which are now redundant and we just need to get rid of them. I mean, mines, for example. This requires rather large amounts of money. So here we also count on NATO’s assistance," the diplomat said.

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