Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu Took Part in a Meeting of the Joint Board of the Ministries of Defence of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus
(Source: Russian Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 27, 2020)
Today, a meeting of the joint board of the ministries of defence of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus was held via video conference. It was attended by Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu. In his opening speech, the head of the Russian military department noted that the Republic of Belarus was and remains our closest neighbor, reliable ally and strategic partner.

"This is especially important in the context of ongoing global instability, when distrust in interstate relations is growing, attempts are being made to undermine the foundations of international law, and the interests of sovereign states are being ignored," Sergei Shoigu said. "Using the technologies of color revolutions, the United States and its satellites purposefully escalate tensions and undermine the internal political situation in a number of countries."

More recently, the Russian Defence Minister continued, with the political and financial support of the West, an attempt was made to change the government in the Republic of Belarus. Among other things, this was done with the aim of disrupting the integration process within the Union state and creating a split in Russian-Belarusian relations.

"We strongly condemn such actions and consider it unacceptable to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries," Sergei Shoigu said.

He noted that the situation remains unsettled on the western borders of the Union state, where NATO continues to increase its forward presence. The Alliance's military infrastructure is being improved right at our borders, and supplies of material and technical equipment, weapons and military equipment are being created. The segment of the American supposedly anti-missile defense, whose launchers can be used for attack weapons, is increasing. Despite the pandemic, the intensity of the bloc's military exercises is not decreasing.

"In the current military-political situation in the region," said the head of the Russian military department, "as well as new challenges and threats, primarily from international terrorism, the Russian Ministry of Defence considers ensuring the military security of the Union State among the priority tasks. The most important coordinating mechanism in its solution is the joint board of the ministries of defence of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. This is the first time that we are holding a video conference session. Nevertheless, I am sure that the quality of our work will not suffer from this."

Further, Sergei Shoigu noted that the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic could not reduce the intensity of military cooperation between our countries. The formation of a unified defense space within the borders of the Union state continues. A common military doctrine has been adopted, a regional grouping of troops and a unified regional air defence system are functioning, and joint military planning has been organized.

According to the Russian Defence Minister, the main focus is on training the Armed Forces and improving the combat capabilities of the regional group. Every year, more than 120 events are held within the framework of bilateral cooperation, half of which are operational and combat training. These are joint staff training of the joint command of the strategic level group, exercises "West" and "Union Shield", joint exercises and training at the level of types of armed forces, military branches and special units.

At the end of September, Belarusian military personnel took part in the "Kavkaz – 2020" maneuvers at the Kapustin Yar training ground, and units of the Russian airborne troops and the Belarusian special operations forces held a joint exercise "Slavic brotherhood-2020" in the Republic of Belarus.

In addition, tasks are being worked out during operational and combat training events held in the formats of international organizations, primarily the CSTO. So, the peacekeeping exercise "Unbreakable brotherhood-2020" ended recently, which showed an increase in the training and coherence of our troops.

Within the framework of the relevant programs of the Union state, the military infrastructure is being improved, and the system of technical cover for the region's railways is being developed.

"I believe," Sergei Shoigu said, " that the level of Russian – Belarusian cooperation in the military sphere is optimal. I am confident that today's meeting will be held in a constructive manner and will contribute to further deepening cooperation between our military departments and strengthening the defence capability of the Union state."

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