Minister: Belarus against deployment of NATO contingents in Baltics, Poland

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (second from right).

MINSK, Jul 14, Interfax-BNS – Belarus is categorically against the deployment of NATO military contingents in the Baltic countries and Poland, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said in an interview with the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais.

“The deployment of new military contingents will not promote stability and security in this region, and therefore we are categorically against the deployment of a NATO contingent in the Baltic countries and in Poland. This obliges the other party to take countermeasures and prompts an arms race, just like during the Cold War,” Makei said in the interview published on Tuesday.

The Belarusian minister also commented on the possible deployment of a Russian military base in Belarusian territory. “A new foreign military base in Belarus has no sense, because modern weapons enable Russia to respond just as quickly from its own territory. We wouldn’t want to be a new irritating factor in our region,” he said.

Speaking about the upcoming Belarusian-Russian joint military exercise Zapad 2017, Makeis described it as a planned exercise conducted every two years.

“It’s necessary to wait until they are completed so that everyone could see the absurdity of the accusations leveled. Our neighbors shouldn’t worry, as Belarusian territory will never be a source of war or a military threat.

The exercise will be transparent. We will invite monitors from neighboring countries and representatives from the OSCE and the accredited embassies,” he said.

Interfax – Baltic News Service.

Source: Latvian Information Agency.

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