Belarus to move military equipment, forces for check on terrorism response

REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attend the summit of leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Astana, Kazakhstan October 14, 2022.

Belarus plans to move military equipment and security forces on Wednesday and Thursday in what it says are checks on its response to possible acts of terrorism, the state BelTA news agency reported on Wednesday.

“During this period, it is planned to move military equipment and personnel of the national security forces,” the news agency cited the country’s Security Council as saying.

“The movement of citizens (transport) along certain public roads and areas would be restricted and the use of imitation weapons for training purposes is planned.”

There was no information on what parts of the country could be affected.

Belarus has said it will not enter the war in neighboring Ukraine, but President Alexander Lukashenko has in the past ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near the Ukrainian border, citing threats to Belarus from Kyiv and the West.

Belarus and Russia are formally part of a “union state” and are closely allied economically and militarily, with Russia using Belarus as a staging post for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine has been warning for months that it fears that Belarus and Russia could be planning a joint incursion across Ukraine’s northern border.

Last week, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu held talks with his Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Khrenin, to discuss military cooperation.