The increased activity of NATO on the Western border of the Union state is forcing Moscow to take defensive measures, and this situation will be taken into account in joint strategic exercises of Russia and Belarus under the name “Zapad-2017″, which will be held in September next year. This was stated by Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, speaking on 2 November in Minsk at the meeting of the joint Board of military departments of two countries.

“On the Western borders of the Union state of the US and other NATO members actively expanding its offensive capabilities, opening a new base and developing the military infrastructure, – quotes its RIA “Novosti”. – Stop trying to impose their will on other countries through economic and political dictatorship and military force.”

Such actions undermine the strategic stability and force Russia to retaliate, with a high level of cooperation with Belarus can successfully solve the issues of strengthening the defense potential of the Union state, said Shoigu.

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Joint strategic exercises “West-2017″ will be held in September next year simultaneously in several ranges of Russia and Belarus, said Shoigu. “They will be the main event of joint training of our armed forces in 2017″, – quotes its words “Interfax”.

“With the development of the plan and scenario of the exercise will be considered a situation associated with increased activity of NATO near the borders of the Union state”, – said Shoigu. According to him, during maneuvers, in particular, will fulfill the task of planning, management and use of joint groups of troops.

At a meeting in Minsk, among other things, reviewed the status of implementation of the plan of joint events of the defence Ministries of Russia and Belarus to ensure the military security of the Union state for the years 2016-2018. “During these operations, the emphasis is on the training of military control bodies and troops maintaining the required level of interoperability. In the future we plan to strengthen the practical orientation of such activities, taking into account the current international realities”, – said Shoigu.

Moscow and Minsk also pay great attention to the implementation of the agreement on joint protection of borders of the Union state and creation of uniform regional system of air defence, he said. In 2016, the Russian company completed a major overhaul of anti-aircraft missile systems s-300PS, transferred to Belarus free of charge. These measures “will prevent violations of the airspace of the Union state”, concluded the head of the defense Ministry.

In early October, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko promised Russia’s military support in the Western direction, at the same time paprikov Moscow for non-delivery of the Minsk missile complexes “Iskander-M”, the presence of which on the Eastern borders of NATO – in the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation – the great anxiety of the Alliance.

Earlier, in early June, Lukashenko said that Moscow and Minsk notice an increase of NATO troops on the borders of Belarus and take “adequate measures”. Then he described the joint action in the event of a military conflict. He recalled that Russia and Belarus have “joint group of forces in the West, which ensures the safety of our Motherland – Belarus and Russia”.

“And at the heart of this group – part of the Belarusian army. In case of conflict they are the first to enter the fray and in a short time here catching up part, concentrated in the West of Russia,” – explained Lukashenko.

Shoigu announced large-scale exercises of Russia and Belarus with the account of activity of NATO near the borders of the Union state 02.11.2016

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