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Lukashenko announces deployment of ‘regional grouping’ combining Russian and Belarusian forces
The President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to establish a joint regional grouping of Russian and Belarusian troops, Belta reports.
“Due to the aggravation on the western borders of the Union State, we have agreed to deploy a regional grouping of Russia and Belarus,” Lukashenko said at the October 10 security meeting. “If the threat reaches the current level, as it is now, we’ll begin to deploy the Union State grouping.”
Lukashenko noted that this agreement was reached in St. Petersburg, after an informal CIS summit.
According to Lukashenko, the Belarusian army will supply the bulk of the new grouping. He specified that its formation has been underway for two days, and that “more than a thousand” Russian soldiers would soon be arriving in Belarus. Lukashenko has ordered the Defense Ministry of Belarus to “receive these people and deploy them wherever needed, according to our plan.”
Lukashenko did not say what the deployment of this “grouping” means, where it would happen, or what would be its purpose. Neither his press service nor Belta have yet added any detail.
During the same meeting, Lukashenko said that Ukraine is “not just discussing, but planning strikes on the Belarusian territory” — at the behest of their “masters” in the West. As for the information about Belarus’s intention to enter the war on Ukrainian territory, Lukashenko called it rubbish.
“Without trying to inflame the situation,” Lukashenko said, “I want you all to understand — if you want peace, you must prepare for war.”
On October 9, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stated that Ihor Kyzym, Ukraine’s ambassador in Belarus, was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, where he was handed a diplomatic note. In it, the Belarusian side claimed that Ukraine was planning to launch a strike on Belarusian territory. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called this as a provocation.
Earlier this October, Alexander Lukashenko claimed that Belarus is taking part in Russia’s “special military operation,” but it isn’t sending its own troops into the conflict zone, and it’s “not killing anyone.” Ukraine accused Belarus of letting Russia use its territory and airspace for attacks on Ukraine.
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