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21 Apr 2017

Belarus to continue military cooperation with Russia, eager to advance dialogue with NATO

MINSK, 21 April (BelTA) – Belarus will continue interaction with Russia in military technology affairs and is interested in taking the dialogue with NATO to the next level. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement in his address to the nation and the parliament on 21 April, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that it is difficult to stand against challenges of the modern world on one’s own. Belarus will team up with the Collective Security Treaty Organization and with Russia as part of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Every year Belarus and Russia stage over 40 joint army exercises, including large-scale ones.

The next Belarusian-Russian large-scale army exercise Zapad 2017 (West 2017) will take place in autumn. The head of state reminded that some European partners had been viewing the exercise with alarm. Belarus is bewildered by the attitude. “Step-by-step advancement of the dialogue with NATO also meets Belarus’ interests. It is important for reducing potential risks considering the fact that NATO installations are now at our borders,” noted Alexander Lukashenko.

Alexander Lukashenko said he is convinced that the sides should make steps towards each other. “We have problems that need to be addressed. It is necessary to take care of economy,” remarked the president.

Switching to the topic of domestic security, the head of state specified that the number of state border trespassers was nearly halved in 2016 thanks to modern technologies. As many as 17 foreign terrorists and militants were apprehended as they were travelling in transit via Belarus. “These are just recent accomplishments. Our law enforcement agencies should act promptly in fighting terrorism, smuggling of weapons and drugs, illegal migration,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.

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