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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Russia-Led Alliance Holds Belarus Military Exercises Near NATO Border

TALLINN, ESTONIA – On Friday, military maneuvers involving over 2,000 troops from a security alliance led by Russia commenced in various regions of Belarus, situated close to the borders of NATO member countries.

The exercises, conducted under the auspices of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), encompass military personnel from Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Notably, Armenia, also a CSTO member, opted not to participate in these exercises, as it had previously declared in January due to strained relations with Russia.

According to Belarus’ defense ministry, the exercises are slated to run until Wednesday and are primarily designed to prepare for coordinated operations, including responses to potential nuclear incidents.

Also Read: Kremlin Rushes Reinforcements to Halt Ukrainian Breakthrough

These maneuvers are taking place in three western regions of Belarus that share borders with NATO nations Poland and Lithuania. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau has expressed concerns, suggesting that the military exercises may be intended to create instability in the region.

It’s worth noting that Belarus hosts Russian military forces and equipment, which have played a role in the conflict in Ukraine, although Belarusian forces have not actively participated in the hostilities. Russia has also claimed the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons within Belarus.

In response to these exercises, Ukraine’s Joint Forces commander, Gen. Serhii Naiev, has reported the reinforcement of the Ukrainian border with Belarus as a precautionary measure.

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