Relations between Belarus and the West are likely to become even more strained.
The Belarusian government said on Tuesday Russian troops would come to its territory to carry out “operational readiness and combat” exercises.
These maneuvers will take place in two stages: the first, by February 9, involves the deployment of Russian and Belarusian troops to "threatened areas", the securing of state and military infrastructure, the protection of airspace.
Then, from February 10 to 20, the actual maneuvers, dubbed "Determination of the union 2022", in reference to the Russian-Belarusian alliance, are to take place on several military bases in Belarus.
Entire trains loaded with military equipment
These exercises are taking place "due to the worsening of the politico-military situation in the world, the continuous increase in tensions in Europe, in particular on the western and southern borders of Belarus", indicated the Belarusian Ministry of Defense in a communicated.
The day before, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had justified these exercises by strengthening the NATO system in Poland and in the Baltic countries, on the borders of his country, as well as by the situation in Ukraine.
Russian users had broadcast videos on Monday of whole trains loaded with military equipment, armored vehicles and other vehicles in western Russia heading for the border.
The number of troops deployed remains undetermined for the time being.
He added that these were "impromptu" Russian-Belarusian maneuvers, but that their scale, not specified, did not require notifying the details, in particular to the neighbors, in this case Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.
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