Lukashenko has no plans to curtail military cooperation with Russia
Belarus has no intention to curtail military cooperation with Russia because of disagreements in other areas, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
"Let me say this specially for the mass media: no one is going to curtail military cooperation with Russia because of disagreements in other fields, no matter what some 'experts' may think," the BelTA state-run news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying in his report on the concept of the West-2017 Belarusian-Russian strategic military exercises.
"On the contrary, the exercises demonstrate our consistency in providing unwavering security for the two fraternal peoples," he said.
"No matter what our relations may be in the field of oil, gas, food and so on, these problems can be resolved. These are our problems, those of Belarus and Russia. But we have to be dead serious about security and defense capacities on our common borders. This cannot be a bargaining chip," he said.
Russia and Belarus have created a powerful group of forces in the Western sector, and the Belarusian army is its backbone, Lukashenko said. "In case of a conflict or, God forbid, a war, we have a certain plan of the hostilities to be conducted by the Belarusian Armed Forces, which will be immediately reinforced by relevant Russian forces. We have never made this a secret and we openly say that we should keep our gunpowder dry even in peacetime," the president said.