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Minsk’s priority is military cooperation with Russia, post-Soviet bloc - Defense Ministry

February 18, 10:57 UTC+3 MINSK

The military authority’s representative confirmed the growing concentration of forces and equipment deployed along the Belarusian borders

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MINSK, February 18. /TASS/. The military-political cooperation in the framework of the Union State and the post-Soviet military block, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), is a priority for Belarus, the country’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

"We always tell the Western countries that Russia is our strategic partner," the Defense Ministry’s head of the International Cooperation Department Oleg Voinov said. "We shall not change our relations for getting whatever momentary [benefits]. <…> Thus, CSTO, the Union State are our priorities in the military policy."

The military authority’s representative confirmed the growing concentration of forces and equipment deployed along the Belarusian borders.

"This is in the number of personnel of the bordering countries, in their growing military budgets, growing numbers of military drills and the involved forces," he continued. "We are telling the counterparts it is their sovereign right to choose in what unions to be and what drills to have, but we should like to have mechanisms, which could control further escalation."

He continued by saying that in 2017, the Belarussian Armed Forces "were inspected by 19 countries, with 29 control measures, 66 observation flights were performed above the republic."

"We have not received a single remark on the verification," he said. "This proves the Republic of Belarus fulfils all the undertaken obligations.".

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