Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Russia and Belarus are continuing joint military exercises for another week, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said Tuesday. It is the latest sign of cooperation between neighboring allies amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“During the week Armed forces representatives from both countries will practice joint military planning based on their experience in recent years of armed conflict,” the ministry said in a statement.
the ministry said The goal of the exercise is to improve the compatibility of the two armies. and as part of preparations for the joint Exercise Union Shield 2023 that the two countries will hold in Russia in September.
The announcement of the new exercises comes as Russian and Belarusian air combat units continue their training missions during joint aviation and tactical exercises by their air forces.
The drills took place at the Ruzhansky training ground in Belarus, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the Ukrainian border.
meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed plans to establish a joint military training center with Belarus, according to Agence France-Presse.
In a decree published on Tuesday Putin commissioned defense and foreign ministers to conduct talks with Belarus and sign an agreement to establish the facility. AFP reports
The document does not specify where they will be stationed.
Some context: one announce It was announced by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in October that his country and Russia would form a joint regional force and conduct exercises to raise the alarm in Kiev.
The last time the Belarusian and Russian forces held a joint maneuver. in February last year A large number of Russian forces unexpectedly crossed the Ukrainian border into the capital.
But Western officials speaking to media this week expressed doubts that Russia could launch an invasion from Belarus in the coming months.
However, the presence of Russian troops would prompt Ukraine to send troops stationed in that direction to This “offsets any potential risks,” the official said. Although they emphasized that “It is extremely unlikely” that Belarus “will be the mainstay of the offensive. months ahead.”