The situation on the border of the Russia-Belarus Union State with NATO member states remains tense and security provision is a top priority for Russia’s Defense Ministry, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a board meeting of the Union State’s defense ministries on Tuesday.
"The uneasy situation remains on the western borders of the Union State where NATO continues building up its forward presence," Shoigu told the defense ministries’ board meeting via a video link-up, TASS reports.
"In the current military and political situation in the region, and also amid new challenges and threats, primarily, from international terrorism, the Defense Ministry of Russia views the provision of the Union State’s military security among its priority tasks," Shoigu stressed.
The North Atlantic Alliance is improving its military infrastructure, stockpiling supplies, armament and military hardware near the Union State’s borders, Russia’s defense chief pointed out.
The US missile shield segment is being beefed up and its launchers can be used for strike weapons, Shoigu said.
"The intensity of the bloc’s military drills does not decrease, despite the pandemic," he said.
In turn, Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin noted the growing number of NATO drills in the countries bordering on Belarus and the increasing presence of the US Army. "Over the past few years, NATO’s rotational grouping in the countries neighboring on Belarus has grown by more than 17 times to 10,000 troops," Khrenin said.
The United States, backed by its NATO allies, has quit the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM), Open Skies and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaties and refused to ratify the adapted version of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the Belarusian defense minister said.
All these moves are aimed at "disrupting international and regional security and providing a legal framework for militarizing the European continent through constant US presence," Khrenin stressed.