MINSK, October 17. /TASS/. The regional group of forces isn’t being deployed in full now, Alexander Volfovich, state secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, said on Monday.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on October 10 announced the start of creating a regional military grouping that will comprise Russian and Belarusian troops.
"Yes, the regional military grouping has in fact started to be assembled on the territory of Belarus, a phase-by-phase deployment of a reduced grouping. Life will show later whether it will be deployed in full or not," he said, the BelTA news service reported.
Component of deterrence
The official said the deployment of the group is "one of the elements of deterrence and cooling the heads" aimed at Western countries.
"They (Western countries - TASS) they always reproach us that Belarus is an aggressive country, that we are preparing for war. But it's not so," he said. "The group is now being assembled not for exercises, but in order to show that in the event that the state border is crossed by the West, we are able and will be ready to give a fitting rebuff."
Volfovich said "nine major exercises involving the combined armed forces of NATO are currently taking place in Eastern Europe. In particular, three exercises right across the border: one major exercise in Poland, another in Lithuania, a third one in Latvia". He said the exercises of NATO nuclear forces, which began on Monday, "are practicing issues that are far from being defensive, but rather offensive, where the Russian Federation, China, Belarus, North Korea, Syria, Iraq, and Iran are regarded as aggressor countries, potential enemy countries."
"In our exercises, we never consider Poland, Lithuania or Latvia as a potential enemy. And they see us as an aggressor country. Although we are one of the few peaceful corners that remained in Europe. And that bothers our neighbors and the leadership of the collective West. But visa free entry to Belarus is still in effect (for the nationals of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia - TASS). Lithuanians, Poles, Latvians come to Belarus and see that everything is completely different from what the news media tell them abroad," he said.
On October 10, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced the start of creating a regional group of forces that will mainly comprise Belarusian servicemen. According to Lukashenko, the decision to create the group, which was reached during negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was prompted by the escalation of the situation on the western borders of the Union State. According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, first trains carrying Russian troops arrived in Belarus October 15. The ministry said the group of forces will include a total of 9,000 Russia troops, about 170 tanks, up to 200 armored fighting vehicles and up to 100 artillery guns and mortars.