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Belarus will always honor commitments on CSTO rapid reaction collective forces, Alexander Lukashenko says

Belarus will always remain loyal to its obligations on the CSTO's collective rapid reaction forces, said President Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting with the heads of defense departments of the countries of the Collective Security Treaty. The situation in the zone of responsibility of the CSTO is becoming more acute, but Belarus is not going to use weapons without a need.

In 2017, Belarus chairs the CSTO, the organization founded 15 years ago. During this time, much has been done, but one cannot rest on laurels. Among the proposals of Alexander Lukashenko is to equip the collective rapid response forces with the latest weapons and equipment and to test new forms of cooperation in joint operational-strategic exercises that are to be held this autumn. And now Belarus is preparing for the "West-2017" drills.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
No matter how we are pressured, even now this pressure continues, we will still hold these drills and are aimed at making them large-scale and very serious. I know that Russia has exactly the same mood. We do not frighten anyone, we are not going to frighten anyone. We do not need someone else's land or property. Neither we nor Russia need that. Therefore, we will practice the exercises that our potential rivals are training. We train the army and will teach it to protect the territory, our state, our peoples. We are very serious about making the drills in Belarus very effective and we will try to make these exercises both large-scale and diverse in nature so that our military - both from Russia and Belarus (who serve in this area) - feel what they defend and what responsibility it implies. We sacredly protect and appreciate what we are entrusted by the peoples - to defend this western direction. And we, as always, hold on to this policy in a very responsible manner, implement all measures so that someone, our potential enemy, does not even think that the army in Belarus or our joint group with Russia is not ready to repel any attack of our potential opponent or enemy. We talk about this constantly.

Belarus is ready to increase the participation of its contingent in the Collective Forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, but Minsk expects from other countries the same dedication.

Belarus will always honor commitments on CSTO rapid reaction collective forces, Alexander Lukashenko says