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NATO aircraft doubled flights near Belarus — country’s defense ministry

It was mentioned that US aircraft increased by 50%

MINSK, November 18. /TASS/. The Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Thursday the number of flights by NATO reconnaissance and combat aircraft along the country’s border has doubled, including flights over Ukrainian airspace. 

This shows the situation around the country continues to escalate, the ministry said.

‘’Our communications and radar surveillance are currently detecting a steady increase in the frequency of flights by reconnaissance and combat aircraft of the NATO member countries along the state border of Belarus, including over Ukrainian airspace ,’’ the ministry said in a statement. That ‘’testifies to a buildup of military activity near our border and is evidence of further escalation of the situation around Belarus,’’ the statement said.

The total number of these flights had doubled recently, while flights by US aircraft increased by 50%, the ministry said. Unmanned surveillance aircraft continue to be used a lot, it said. The aircraft fly as close as 15-20 kilometers from the Belarusian border, according to the statement.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that the country hasn’t deployed troops to the border with Poland but it has plans to counter any aggression. He said Minsk isn’t seeking a border conflict but that is what Warsaw wants. According to Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin, amid the migration crisis at the border Poland deployed 23,000 troops, setting up 13 camps for them, and also sending in other military personnel and armored vehicles. He said the activities of the Polish forces at the border made no sense.