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Belarus President meets with security officials ahead of West 2017 drills with Russia

The invited foreign observers can personally see the peaceful tasks of the Belarusian-Russian exercises West 2017, said Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting with the security officials of Belarus on September 5.

The military drills will be held from 14 to 20 September. Participating in it will be almost 13,000 troops and 900 pieces of equipment.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
I would like to hear information from the Ministry of Defense on the eve of the active phase of the West 2017 exercises. What is the situation in this regard? At the same time I want to warn: enough to justify yourself. You say our drills are defensive in nature or something else. There is an army, there is a joint armed grouping in the western direction of Belarus and Russia. And if it exists, we did not hide it from anyone: we will teach it to fight. Just in case. We do not intend to attack anyone. And what will be the drills? We've invited almost everyone. Let them come and watch.

The main task is to develop joint actions in the fight against armed groups and terrorism. The exercises will be held in two stages, but by September 30 the troops (both Belarusian and Russian) will return to the places of permanent deployment. About 80 foreign observers and about 150 journalists have expressed the desire to monitor and cover the drills.

Belarus President meets with security officials ahead of West 2017 drills with Russia