The Belarusian opposition categorically protests against the West-2017 exercises.
On July 21, a meeting of the Council of the Belarusian National Congress was held in Minsk. The first question on the agenda was the situation around the military exercises West-2017.
A corresponding statement was adopted:
STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF THE BNC
"For Peaceful Belarus!"
We must never forget the tragic lessons of past centuries. Our people were forcibly drawn into bloody wars, the Belarusian land became a battlefield, we lost millions of innocent lives.
At the beginning of our independence we have drawn conclusions from our history, having enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus the provision on the striving for neutrality, which is violated by the current leadership of the country.
One of such violations is the joint Belarusian-Russian military exercises West-2017, scheduled for September this year. Thousands of military men from the country which is participating in the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine, which is taking a part of the Ukrainian land and using the mouths of official politicians to threaten the Western states with the use of nuclear weapons, are preparing to take part in the exercises.
We cannot help worrying about the information that after the exercises the Russian military can stay in Belarus, that there are bases for storing Russian weapons in case of Russia's war with NATO and Ukraine, prepared in our border areas.
We do not want the Belarusians to be made cannon fodder in foreign wars so that human blood would be spilled on our land.
We declare that we will consider the deployment of foreign troops on our land as an act of aggression against Belarus.
We are ready to resist any aggression against our country. But we must try to prevent any misfortune first.
We call upon the Belarusian patriots to take part in the Action to prevent possible aggression! We are waiting for you on September 8 at 6 p.m. in the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk!
On this day 25 years ago, thousands of Belarusian military, both acting and those in reserve, took a symbolic oath of allegiance to Belarus in the main square of the capital. Their oath to defend their Homeland sounded throughout the country. It was a harsh warning to those, for whom the young Belarusian independence was a bone in the throat. It forced the then authorities to bring the entire Belarusian army to the official oath of allegiance to the Homeland.
Regarding this event, the Council of the BNC proposes to take the Oath of Freedom on September 8. Together we will swear to free our country from internal occupation and protect it from any external threat.
For a peaceful and neutral Belarus!
Power to the people!
Long Live Belarus!
Minsk, July 21, 2017