Western nations have basically been waging an undeclared war against Moscow and Minsk, according to Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who was speaking on 25 May 2023 with his Belarusian colleague Viktor Khrenin. Sergei Shoigu stated, ‘Today we are facing the collective West, which is virtually waging war against our countries’.
‘The NATO’s military activities have become as aggressive as possible’. ‘The joint armed forces of the alliance in Eastern Europe are being made more combat-ready through the implementation of a number of initiatives. The deployment of more military personnel and facilities, as well as an increase in training and reconnaissance operations close to the Union State’s frontiers,’ said the head of the Russian military department.
He also noted that Western nations who provide Ukraine with military assistance are escalating the conflict and prolonging it.
‘Everything is being done to prolong and escalate the armed conflict in Ukraine, which is being supported militarily in every possible way,’ Sergei Shoigu said.
Sergei Shoigu opened the discussion by saying that their meetings ‘have recently become regular’. ‘This is especially crucial in light of the fast growing tensions, the breaking of the foundations of strategic stability, and the extraordinary rise in international confrontation’. The Russian Defense Minister emphasised that Belarus has been and will be a dependable partner and a devoted ally.
As Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu stated, the two countries are working to strengthen their shared defence area in light of the current military and political situation.
‘We are carrying out activities to reinforce the common defence space in collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus while taking into consideration the military and political environment,’ Sergei Shoigu stated during his meeting with Belarusian Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin in Minsk. ‘The major focus is on training the troops and improving their combat skills’.
According to him, the militaries of the two nations undergo combat cohesion of military units that are a part of the regional force grouping.
‘As part of the Belarus-Russia unified regional air defence system in the Republic of Belarus, Russian aviation and air defense assets are on alert,’ said Sergei Shoigu.
‘Close cooperation in the military-technical sphere and cooperation of defence industry complexes have been established,’ he said.
‘In the circumstances of an extremely sharp escalation of threats and activity of NATO joint nuclear missions, we are compelled to take retaliatory measures in the military-nuclear sphere. The deployment of Russian Federation non-strategic nuclear weapons on the territory of the Republic of Belarus has been planned in accordance with the decision of Supreme Commanders-in-Chief of the Russian Federation,’ Sergei Shoigu stated.
He emphasised that Belarus had received the Iskander-M operational and tactical missile system, which can employ missiles in both conventional and nuclear forms.
‘Some Belarusian aircraft have been upgraded for potential nuclear weapon employment. Military personnel have received the appropriate training,’ Sergei Shoigu stated.
Sergei Shoigu and Viktor Khrenin put their signatures on documents outlining the process for storing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in a special facility at the Republic of Belarus.
Sergei Shoigu stressed that the actions taken by Belarus and Russia ‘complied with all relevant international legal responsibilities’.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu emphasised that Moscow retained control of all non-strategic nuclear weapons and the authority to decide when to use them.
Sergei Shoigu stated that ‘Russia is not transferring nuclear weapons to the Republic of Belarus: control over them and the decision on their use remains with the Russian side’ when signing the documents outlining the process for storing Russian non-strategic nuclear weapons in a special facility on the Republic’s territory.
Belarusian Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin signed the documents on behalf of his country.
According to the Russian Defence Minister, ‘more steps may be taken to safeguard the Union State’s security and to respond to the military and political situation’.