Belarus, Russia to conduct military drills despite pressure

Huang Panyue

MINSK, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday the Belarusian-Russian military drills Zapad 2017 will be staged in extensive and serious way despite any pressure.

The Belarusian leader made the statement during a meeting here with the defense ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states.

Lukashenko reminded that Belarus is responsible for the western direction as part of the Union State and the CSTO.

"This is Belarus' responsibility zone, and our entire army is focused on it together with Russia. We have a clear action plan under various circumstances," he said.

"We are not trying to scare anyone. We do not want to take anything that is not ours. So we will work out everything that our potential rivals are practicing," the president said.

"We train the army and will train it to protect our territory, our state and our people," he stressed.

The joint military drills Zapad 2017 between Belarus and Russia will take place from September 14 to 20.


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