Russian soldiers in a joint exercise with Belarusian troops in September 2021
Photo: VITALY NEVAR / REUTERS
Moscow is moving troops to Belarus amid growing fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine.
According to the Minsk government, the Russian armed forces are to start joint maneuvers with their own troops.
The date given was February.
The "Allied Resolve" exercise will be carried out in the west on the border between NATO members Poland and Lithuania and in the south on the border with Ukraine. This was announced by the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. According to him, the agreement on joint military exercises was reached with Russian President Vladimir Putin in December. It is not yet clear how many soldiers will take part.
According to Lukashenko, the exercises are aimed at "developing a precise plan in the event of a confrontation with Western forces". He justified the joint maneuvers with the strengthening of NATO's military presence in Poland and the Baltic States. Warsaw has applied to NATO for logistical and technical support. In addition, Lukashenko accused the Ukrainian leadership of strengthening its units on the border with Belarus.
According to the state news agency Belta, Lukashenko asked his defense minister to set an exact date for the maneuvers. “We planned to start exercises in February. Set an exact date and let us know, so we're not accused of pulling together some soldiers out of the blue like we're preparing for war."
Lukashenko was referring to the tensions that had increased between the government in Moscow and the West in recent weeks.
Russia has massed around 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine.
The West fears an invasion.
Russia, on the other hand, denies any intention to attack and for its part condemns the strengthening of NATO units on its borders as well as plans for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO.
Belarus is a close ally of its direct neighbor Russia.
Belarus also borders Ukraine and the EU states and NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Britain supplies arms to Ukraine
As it became known on Monday, Great Britain is supplying arms to Ukraine – the background is the feared Russian attack on Ukraine.
"We have decided to supply Ukraine with light defensive anti-tank weapons," said British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.
The first units have already arrived in Ukraine.
You'll find more about it here.
During a visit to Madrid, Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for "clear steps" by Russia to de-escalate the situation.
Military aggression against Ukraine will have serious political and economic consequences.
In Kiev, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock agreed with her Ukrainian colleague Dmytro Kuleba to try to revive negotiations in the so-called Normandy format.
She is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday.