Belarus eager to send observers to 2020 NATO drills

The Global Security and NATO in 2019 seminar was held in Minsk on December, 12. It was attended by domestic and foreign experts in international security, diplomats and officials.

At the event, Vasil Paulau, a representative the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed the need to establish open dialogue between Russia and NATO. According to him, Belarus had accumulated positive experience of cooperation with the Alliance. Belarus would appreciate the invitation of the country’s observers to the NATO exercise in 2020, state-run news agency BelTA quotes Paulau.

In turn, Petr Lunak, a Representative of NATO’s Public Diplomacy, underlined that Belarus had been participating in the NATO Partnership for Peace program since 1995. Dialogue on a number of security issues is the basis for the partnership between Belarus and Alliance, he said. The NATO is ready to assist Belarus in its peacekeeping initiatives, Lunak added.

As reported earlier, the US will dispatch three tank brigades and thousands of other types of troops to Europe to participate in Defender 2020, the largest NATO military exercise on the continent in the last 25 years 37,000 military personnel from 18 countries are expected to take part in the drills.

The exercise will test the ability to deliver a force from ‘fort in the United States to port in the United States’, and then to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia, Chris Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe commander, told Defense News.

As part of the exercise, more than half a thousand American soldiers will live in the area of the Lithuanian military training ground in Pabrade, 15 km from the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. In late October, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka tasked State Secretary of the Security Council Stanislau Zas and Defense Minister Andrey Raukou to develop an action plan to provide an adequate response to the deployment of armoured vehicles and U.S. armed forces not far from Belarus.

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