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Belarus in favor of equipping CSTO rapid reaction forces with latest weapons

Belarus will always be true to its obligations on the collective forces of the CSTO's rapid reaction, said President Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting with the heads of defense departments of the countries of the CSTO.

In 2017, Belarus chairs the CSTO, the organization founded 15 years ago.

Over the years of its existence, much has been done, but one cannot stop. Among the proposals of Alexander Lukashenko is to equip the collective rapid reaction forces with the latest weapons and equipment and test new forms of interaction in joint operational-strategic exercises.

Yevgeny Pustovoi, CTV:
The walls of the Palace of Independence remember the leaders of many countries; near the complex itself has an image of the peacekeeping headquarters of the region. Today Alexander Lukashenko discussed the architecture of Eastern European security with the heads of defense departments of the CSTO states. 

In 2017, the Collective Security Treaty Organization turns 18 years.

The governments of six states agreed on the creation of this organization even earlier - 25 years ago. 

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Over all these years, the military-political situation in the zone of responsibility of the CSTO could not be called calm. At the present stage, it is even more exacerbated. You know well that Belarus is responsible for the Western direction within the framework of the Belarus-Russia Union State, and within the framework of the CSTO. This is the zone of responsibility of Belarus. Our entire army is concentrated on this together with the Russian Federation.

We have a clear plan of action in different situations.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Belarus stands for the speedy equipping of collective rapid reaction forces with the latest weapons and military equipment. Member states of the CSTO have assigned the best units of the national armed forces to be part of the collective rapid reaction forces. If we see efficiency, we are ready to add units and extra forces.

At our initiative in autumn 2017, we planned to test a new, more ambitious form of joint training in the formation of CSTO collective forces, operational and strategic doctrine.

In 2018 joint exercises with elite formations of a number of countries will be held under the banner of the collective rapid reaction forces of the CSTO. The general exercises will take place in Kyrgyzstan.

Yuri Khachaturov, Secretary General of the CSTO:
In accordance with the plan, next year we plan to hold exercise with collective forces of rapid reaction in Kyrgyzstan with the Peacekeeping Forces "Indestructible Brotherhood" in Russia, with the collective rapid reaction forces "Rubezh" in Tajikistan, the units "Search in Kazakhstan" and the Collective CSTO aviation forces in Russia.

As the commander-in-chief of Belarus and former border guard, Alexander Lukashenko notes that one should not worry about the common border. But collective decisions must be respected.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We are very responsible, conducting this policy, implementing all measures to ensure that someone, our potential enemy does not even have a thought that the Belarus army is not ready or our joint group with Russia is not ready to repel any attack of our potential opponent.

But I ask you one thing: since we agreed, it is necessary to fulfill everything in military style. Otherwise it will... not depreciate but slow down the progress of our organization.

Belarus' neighboring states: Poland and the Baltic States - are forming one international NATO battalion each.

It is these very states that criticize the upcoming Belarusian-Russian drills "West-2017" the most.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We are aimed at making the exercise large-scale and very serious, knowing that the Russian Federation has exactly the same goals. We do not frighten anybody, we are not going to frighten anybody, we do not need someone else's land or property. Neither Belarus nor Russia. So during the drills we will practice the same things our potential opponents practice.

We are training the army and will train it, defend our state and our peoples. We are very serious about the fact that exercises in Belarus be very effective. We will try to give these exercises a large-scale and multi-faceted character, so that the military of both Russia and Belarus in this direction feel and know what responsibility they bear.

Belarus in favor of equipping CSTO rapid reaction forces with latest weapons