Ukraine: Russian troops will continue their maneuvers in Belarus due to the escalation of tensions
Steph Deschamps / February 19, 2022
Belarus announced on Sunday that the joint military exercises with Russia conducted on its territory, which were to end on Sunday, would continue due to the escalation of tensions in neighboring Ukraine.
This announcement means that Russian troops will remain in Belarus, which is in the midst of a crisis with the West, despite Moscow's promise that its forces would leave the country at the EU's doorstep after these manoeuvres, which have been conducted since February 10.
Given the increase in military activity near the borders and the worsening situation in the Donbass, the presidents of Belarus and Russia have decided to continue the inspection of forces, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on Sunday on its Telegram account.
During this inspection of the troops, the term for the maneuvers, elements of the defense of Belarus and Russia which were not discussed in such detail during the previous training, will be examined in depth, the ministry continued.
According to Minsk, the objective of the maneuvers remains to ensure an adequate response to and de-escalation of military preparations conducted by ill-intentioned persons near the borders.
Eastern Ukraine, where Kiev forces have been fighting Moscow-backed pro-Russian separatists since 2014, has been plagued for several days by a new outbreak of gunfire, particularly dangerous in light of heightened tensions between Moscow and the West.
Russia, despite its announcements of military withdrawal, is accused of having massed 150,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian borders in preparation for an invasion. Washington assures that Moscow is looking for a casus belli and that the violence in the East could be this pretext.
Moscow denies any plans in this direction but demands guarantees for its security and has increased its military exercises.
Given the increase in military activity near the borders and the worsening situation in the Donbass, the presidents of Belarus and Russia have decided to continue the inspection of forces, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said on its Telegram account on Sunday.