Opinion: Belarus-Russia air force drills are purely defensive in nature
15:56, 16 January
The Belarus-Russia joint tactical flight exercise is purely defensive in nature, a national security expert Aleksandr Tishchenko told BelTA commenting on the Belarus-Russia exercises that began on 16 January.
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“Such exercises were prompted by the developments around us. First of all, these are threats on the part of Ukraine and the West. Yet, it is important to remark that the exercises are defensive in nature. Therefore, the attempts of the Ukrainian authorities, our fugitives and Polish media to present these exercises as a threat to someone, are groundless,” he assured. “These are scheduled exercises that are meant to train and practice combat shakedown of our joint units,” the expert said.
Aleksandr Tishchenko recalled that Western countries have recently ramped up their military activity and are conducting a large number of operational combat training events. “NATO has conducted and conducts its exercises whenever it wants. And their goals is to build up forces and means, including offensive weapons, near our borders. And it's ridiculous to say that Belarus is getting ready to attack or to provide its territory for launching an attack. The joint military task force is performing purely defensive tasks,” the expert noted.
A reminder, the Belarus-Russia joint tactical flight exercise is taking place on 16 January-1 February. It is aimed at improving interoperability while conducting combat training missions. The plans include aerial reconnaissance, joint air policing along the state border, air support for the joint military task force, landing of tactical airborne troops, as well as cargo delivery and evacuation of the wounded. The Russian side is represented by a unit of the Aerospace Forces. All airfields and training grounds of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces of Belarus will be involved.