MINSK, April 21. /TASS/. Ties between Belarus and Russia are strategic while both countries’ leaders have established trustworthy relations, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in his state-of-the-nation address to the country’s parliament and citizens on Friday.
"The relations with Russia are of a strategic nature… we have developed trustworthy relations with the Russian president," Lukashenko said.
All the problems that arise in the relations with Russia "find their solution," he explained. "We are solving all difficulties that are emerging."
The West’s negative reaction to the Belarusian-Russian drills Zapad-2017 in autumn were dictated by the desire to disrupt the two countries’ military and political unity, Lukashenko stated.
"See how the West reacts to the drills … they have started to frighten us. This is done to disrupt the Belarusian-Russian military and political unity," Lukashenko said.
As the Belarusian president noted, the country had to calm down the West and "say that no one will leave its troops in Belarus."
According to Lukashenko, Belarus holds over 40 operational and combat training drills with Russia annually "and the next large maneuvers Zapad-2017 will be held in autumn."
As the Belarusian president said, the West feels unhappy about the upcoming Belarus-Russia drills "but look what they are doing themselves." "I saw a footage recently where the Polish president was personally receiving a hundred or more of NATO soldiers while artillery stood behind. NATO is deploying its troops near our borders and the borders of allied Russia, including the most advanced drones while they are demanding that we must not conduct any drills," Lukashenko said.
According to Lukashenko, "we are not placing near your borders the troops of China, Turkey, and even the same Russia, with which we have a joint grouping, while you are doing this."