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Military chiefs from Russia, Belarus discuss preparations for joint drills

This will be the Slavic Brotherhood-2020 exercise and the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff drills

MINSK, September 2. /TASS/. Chiefs of the General Staff of Belarus and Russia Alexander Volfovich and Valery Gerasimov held a telephone conversation to discuss the issues of bilateral military cooperation and preparations for joint drills, the press office of the Belarusian Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday.

"The sides discussed the current state of bilateral military cooperation, including the preparations for the joint Belarusian-Russian-Serbian exercise Slavic Brotherhood-2020 that will run on the territory of Belarus and the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff drills (that will take place on the territory of Russia)," the press office said in a statement.

The Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus-2020) command and staff drills will run in Russia’s south in September this year. There were plans to involve troops from six countries in the maneuvers, including member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). However, India’s Defense Ministry announced in late August that its troops would not participate in the drills, citing the pandemic and related difficulties, including logistics issues.

The Slavic Brotherhood drills traditionally involve troops from Russia, Serbia and Belarus. The maneuvers with the troops from the three countries were held for the first time in Russia in 2015. They were subsequently conducted in Serbia in November 2016 and in Belarus in June 2017. In 2018, the Slavic Brotherhood exercise was held in Russia again.