MINSK, November 2. /TASS/. Belarus and Russia have started preparations for the '2023 Union Shield' joint military drills, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said on Wednesday.
"We have launched preparations for the '2023 Union Shield' joint operative drills," Khrenin said speaking during an on-line conference meeting between the Belarusian and Russian Defense Ministries.
"We will discuss the basics of the plan of the joint operative drills of the Armed Forces of Russia and Belarus, ‘2023 Union Shield,’ which will be the main event in the joint training of the command personnel and troops next year," he stated.
The minister noted that military cooperation between Russia and Belarus has yielded important results this year despite an unprecedented outside pressure on both countries.
"Despite the ongoing developments, important goals were reached within the framework of the Belarusian-Russian military cooperation," Khrenin said adding that Moscow and Minsk "had to jointly seek for counteraction measures aimed against the continuing unprecedented pressure and hybrid influence exerted upon Belarus and Russia."
In particular, the minister reiterated "that near the borders of the Union State there is an unjustified militarization of the entire eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance being carried out accompanied by an active development of the military infrastructure" in adjacent territories "and increasing instances of [NATO’s] operative and combat training."
The Belarusian defense minister stressed that the aim of today’s Russian-Belarusian joint collegium meeting "was, first of all, to define the order of the future work aimed at the formation and strengthening of the required joint military potential with the aim of deterring challenges and threats of a military nature directed against the Union State.".