Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov in an hour-long phone call with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin on Sunday agreed to cooperation at the level of military attachés – on February 15-19, the Ukrainian representative will observe a military exercise organized in the neighboring country.
Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov shared the news on the ICTV freedom of speech talk show, Ukrinform reports.
“We lifted many reservations during this call. He explained to me what was happening there, we agreed that from now on our military attachés would cooperate. Tomorrow, our attaché will be present at the invitation of the Ministry of Defense Belarusian on the training ground where live – shooting exercises will take place, which – he assured me – will not be directed to Ukraine, so our attaché will observe this. will attend our exercises. And again, our attaché will attend the exercise will take place in Belarus on the 19th,” the minister said.
Reznikov recalled that such visits are possible thanks to the 2001 intergovernmental agreement on cooperation, dialogue and transparency in the conduct of certain military exercises.
“General Khrenin assured me that they do not want and will not take any aggressive action because these are defense exercises. He assured me that the Russian armed forces have been temporarily deployed, pending exercises … that it is a temporary thing, for exercises planned in advance, ”said Reznikov.
According to Ukraine’s defense chief, he also noted that the Snowstorm 2022 exercise is purely defensive in nature and Ukraine has no aggressive plans against Belarus. In addition, he assured his Belarusian counterpart that Ukraine will resolve all issues related to the situation in the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions exclusively through political and diplomatic channels.
The two ministers agreed to continue the dialogue and, in case of eventualities, to communicate immediately at the level of the attachés, ministries of defense and foreign affairs.
This inspires the assumption that Ukraine and Belarus have friendly relations, Reznikov stressed.
As Ukrinform reported earlier, the Russian-Belarusian Allied Resolve 2022 military exercises kicked off in Belarus on February 10.
They involve government agencies, units and military units of the Armed Forces of Belarus and the Eastern Military District of Russia, deployed in a short period of time from their bases located up to 10,000 km from the exercise site.
The units will carry out exercises in the Domanivsky, Gozky, Obuz-Lesnivsky, Brestsky and Osipovitsky mountain ranges, as well as in some areas of Belarus, tasked with strengthening border protection “to stop the infiltration of armed militant groups, locate, block and destroy illegal armed formations and enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups.”
Also as part of the exercise, the S-400 Triumph long-range air defense system was put into service in the Brest region, bordering Ukraine.