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23 Nov 2020

Belarus eager to step up participation in international peacekeeping missions

Belarus eager to step up participation in international peacekeeping missions

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – The Belarusian army intends to step up participation in international peacekeeping missions, BelTA learned from Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin on 23 November.

The official said: “At present we participate in peacekeeping missions in Lebanon under the aegis of the United Nations Organization and carry out tasks in Ukraine under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We intend to continue expanding and advancing these efforts. We have a well-trained army unit for such tasks – a peacekeeping company in Vitebsk. We are working on becoming part of a peacekeeping mission.”

The defense minister refused to reveal details of the plans. Viktor Khrenin explained that the expansion of presence in Lebanon is under consideration now. There are plans for other missions as well.

Speaking about the state of affairs in the Belarusian army, Viktor Khrenin stressed that the army is ready for combat and is capable of fulfilling its missions. “The 2019-2020 training period is over. All the events on the training schedule have been fulfilled without a disruption. Apart from that, we arranged three stages of surprise inspections and an exercise in the Grodno tactical direction off-schedule. We are starting a new training period on 1 December,” he said.

In his words, about 9,000 military reservists have been drafted this year in order to increase their military training levels. “People, who worked in the national economy and were drafted, showed great understanding about these processes and decently fulfilled their tasks,” the official stressed.

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out the defense minister’s report earlier on 23 November. The participation of Belarusian military in peacemaking missions was mentioned. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “As I often say, the world has gone crazy. More and more stress points have emerged in recent time. The demand for peacekeeping operations is increasing, and we are participants of peacekeeping missions of the United Nations Organization. What is the state of affairs here?”

In July 2020 Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the 103rd Independent Guards Airborne Brigade in Vitebsk. There he familiarized himself with the combat potential of the brigade’s peacekeeping company, the availability of military equipment, and accommodation conditions of soldiers. “Where will we, probably, have to participate as peacekeepers? What is the current state of affairs: soldiers’ morale, technical equipment and financial standing? These are certain costs, although the UN will cover them. But still,” the head of state said.

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