Belarus and Russia will hold military exercises in the western and southern regions, said Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
According to him, the exercises were agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin in December and will be a response to the "difficult situation" on the borders of the Union State.
"These should be regular exercises to work out a certain plan in the confrontation with these forces: the West (the Baltic States and Poland) and the south (Ukraine)," BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.
Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said that the drills are scheduled for February, but the exact date has not yet been determined.
"Determine, inform, so that we are not reproached that we have pulled some troops out of the blue and are almost going to war," Lukashenka replied to Khrenin.
“More than 30,000 troops are amassed in Poland and the Baltic States, near the Belarusian borders, including 8,000-10,000 American soldiers, as well as equipment and weapons,” Lukashenko continued.
"As military people, we immediately ask the question: why? - Lukashenka said. - What are the Americans doing there? Why should we and Russia be reproached for conducting some maneuvers, exercises and so on, if you have come here from a faraway land? What are you going to do here?" He added that some "hotheads" are already openly calling for war.
The previous round of Russian-Belarusian exercises ended in September 2021. The Zapad-2021 maneuvers were attended by 200,000 personnel, 80 aircraft and helicopters, up to 760 units of military equipment, including 290 tanks, 240 artillery units, multiple launch rocket systems and mortars, as well as up to 15 ships.