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Belarus President awards best officers after West 2017 drills

The President of Belarus appreciated the results of the strategic exercise West-2017 (Zapad 2017). The check of the military coherence and power of the Belarus-Russia Union State ended on September 20 at the Borisov training ground.

By tradition, the joint teaching takes place every two years, with Belarus and Russia hosting them alternately. In 2017, Belarus was the main theater of action. After the maneuvers, distinguished soldiers and officers received well-deserved awards from the Commander-in-Chief.

Grigory Rapota, State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State:
We read a lot of information that is not true. In particular, about the scope of the exercise, about the number of participants, the number of weapons, about the goals and objectives... We gave full answers to all these doubts, questions, and fears.

This is despite NATO, OSCE, and CSTO organizations monitored the drills.

Thomas Wastermann, NATO representative:
NATO representatives were able to monitor the exercise. It can be said that "West-2017" demonstrated openness and transparency.

Mukhtar Shahub, military attache of the Embassy of the State of Libya in the Republic of Belarus:
This exercise is considered important and compulsory for all military all over the world. And as far as I could see, everything was fine here, everything was in order.

Belarus showed its openness even during the strategic exercise.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
The maneuvers raised combat and, most importantly, mutual assistance of Belarusians and Russians in the performance of combat training tasks. The development of relations with the Russian Federation and the system of collective security is enshrined in our military doctrine as a priority task. Joint military activities and cooperation with Russia - conducting exercises - are not directed against third countries and serve exclusively to protect our interests.

The drills lasted more than a week. If there is an army in the country, this army must know how to deal with new types of weapons. It's better to do this in a training battle. September 20 was the last chord. The last day of the drills at the Borisov training ground featured some novelties of Belarusian military industry.

Alexander Lukashenko:
It is symbolic that the exercises took place on the Belarusian land, where an unprecedented national resistance to the aggressor unfolded during the Great Patriotic War (part of WWII, 1941-1945). We piously remember and are proud of the feat of the generation of victors, who saved mankind from Nazism. We have not threatened anyone and we are not going to threaten anyone. Threats and wars have never come from our lands. But those who came to this land always received a worthy repulse.

As a reminder of the heroic past the President was gifted the legendary TT pistol (personal weapon of the command of the Great Patriotic War).

The West-2017 drills were held from the Baltic to the Berezina, so it gave rise to analogies with West-81. Being a participant, Lieutenant Lukashenko did not even think that he himself would inspect the same maneuvers.

Alexander Lukashenko:
A very young lieutenant, I participated in these exercises. I compare those and current drills. The training and discipline have grown considerably. You are quite different soldiers and officers, but our goals are the same - to protect the independence of our states. To protect our national interests. And just protect our families.

The Belarus President gave watches to the best participants of the drills. Let's hope these watches will always show peaceful time.

Belarus President awards best soldiers after West-2017 drills