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Belarus ready to create more combat training centers with Russia — Lukashenko

The President of Belarus also thanked Moscow for its support involving the Russian Aerospace Forces, noting that this "has a cooling effect on heads of some" neighbors

MINSK, February 3. /TASS/. Belarus is ready to create new combat training centers with Russia to practice with the latest weapons, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said during his meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu in Minsk Thursday.

"We are ready to create more centers to practice with both the air defense systems and the newest weapons being developed in Russia today. Once again, it is critically important for us to learn about them and understand how to use them," the Belarusian leader said, as reported by BelTA.

The meeting was also attended by Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin. Three such training centers have been established already - two in Russia and one in Belarus, the report noted.

Lukashenko also underscored the importance of reinforcing the Belarusian border with Ukraine.

"Your assistance, assistance from your specialists is important here, [they] will help us to define the most painful points on this direction in order to create this defense at our southern frontiers without extra expense," the head of state said. "We don't need someone else's territory, we have yet to develop our own - From Brest to Vladivostok."

'Will make it count'

The President of Belarus thanked Moscow for its support involving the Russian Aerospace Forces, noting that this "has a cooling effect on heads of some" neighbors.

"The situation is being escalated, they push us to make a response; there have already been several provocations that we could have responded to with force. They understand that, if we respond, Russia will get involved, so we tolerate it for now," he said.

Lukashenko noted that provocations happen constantly.

"So, thank you very much for always supporting us, responding to our requests. We will make it count," the president promised.

He also called the recent CSTO peacekeeping operation in Kazakhstan a successful one.

"Once time passes, they will write textbooks on it. That was a brilliant operation," he said.

Currently, an inspection of Union State response forces is taking place. It will culminate with the Union Resolve 2022 military exercise, which will take place between February 10 and 20 in Belarus. Shoigu arrived in Minsk, where he will inspect the performance of both countries' armed forces together with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin.