Defense Minister Maltsev: Formation of common Belarusian-Russian armed forces is out of question until there is no legal framework 16:38, 03/11/2005
The formation of common Belarusian-Russian armed forces is out of the question until there is no relevant legal framework, Belarusian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev said on November 2 while speaking at a workshop for Russian and Belarusian journalists on cooperation between the two countries in the defense sphere.
Military cooperation between Belarus and Russia bases on more than 30 international accords and "is taking place within the political boundaries that exist," he said. "It is politicians who set boundaries."
Belarus and Russia cooperate in the defense sphere within the framework of bilateral agreements, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and partly within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to General Maltsev.
The two countries have formed a joint Regional Group of Forces, which will take part in large-scale military exercises to be held next summer in Belarus, the official noted. The exercises will focus on air defense training.
In addition, Belarus and Russia cooperate in military personnel training. As many as 292 officers and 207 cadets from Belarus have completed training at Russia`s military higher educational institutions. At present 100 officers and 235 cadets from Belarus study at 19 Russian military schools. "We value very much cooperation in personnel training," the minister said. "This is an organic link between our armed forces."