The dictator's rhetoric can mean consent to "soft occupation" of Belarus by Russia.
The Belarusian and Russian armies act as a single whole in the western direction." This is the way Aliaksandr Lukashenka sees the actions of the Belarusian and Russian armies now and in the future. In Belarus’ head’s opinion, the security of all member countries of the CSTO depends on it. They say, we are passing through troubled times, and there is a growing number of NATO soldiers and equipment at the western borders of the "union state", Belsat reports.
The Russian-Belarusian exercises West 2017 are set to become the answer to this situation
During the meeting with the CSTO member states’ Security Council secretaries, the governor was hurling reproaches at neighbors – NATO members.
"It would be a different matter if there is the army, but there are the most modern unmanned aerial vehicles as well. I, when I saw these drones in the pictures .., they are huge, like real planes. These are storm drones. Who against?" – Aliaksandr Lukashenka said.
Officially, the main emphasis during the exercises will be made on the task of protecting the "union state". However, in May, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense reported that it had data at its disposal, according to which an attack on the neighboring NATO member countries was likely to be trained during the Russian-Belarusian exercises.
This prospect raised flags in the West
They openly say: the exercises can adversely affect the security in Europe, as well as lead to provocations. And the following question is heard in Belarus: why are we looking for a real enemy in the western direction, and why, in fact, is NATO forced to expand the presence in Poland and the Baltic states, neighboring to Belarus?
"It stems from Russia's aggressive policy towards its neighbors, the annexation of the Crimea and the Donbas affair. Against this background, preeminently the Baltic countries got worried about their future and demanded concrete actions from NATO," – political analyst Vital Tsyhankou says.
A few days ago, Aliaksandr Lukashenka promised that the exercises West-2017 will be conducted on a large scale. According to earlier announced data, approximately 3000 Russian soldiers and 300 pieces of military equipment will arrive in our country.
The occupation can take place under the guise of Russian-Belarusian exercises
The Belarusian-Russian exercises West 2017 will be held from 14 to 20 September. The operations space span is uniquely impressive – from the Kola Peninsula to Belarus. The Kremlin called charges and criticism against West 2017 "manifestation of Russophobia".