Belarus bound to defend Russia in case of aggression: President Lukashenko
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 10 September 2020 8:17 AM
Belarus says it is bound by treaty to defend Russia if an attack is launched on that country "through or near" Belarusian territory.
"Should someone try to carry out an act of aggression against Russia through Belarus or near Belarus, our 60,000-65,000-strong army will go to war," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said in an interview with Russian media aired on Wednesday.
"If something like that happens in the western direction, north or south of us, we will hurry to defend Russia," Lukashenko said.
He said his country was bound to take such action "because the west is our zone of responsibility in accordance with the Collective Security Treaty and the Union State treaty."
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a military alliance that consists of Russia and several post-Soviet states. It was founded in 1992 and took effect two years later. The Union State, which is an international organization consisting of Belarus and Russia, allows the citizens of the two countries to move and reside freely within the territory of each other.
Lukashenko also said in the interview that Russia would "join us to repel an aggression from the west under the plan. It is our zone of responsibility."
Last month, Lukashenko instructed the military to closely monitor NATO activity in Poland and Lithuania and put the troops on Belarus' western border on high alert amid increasing tensions in the region.
NATO has long been active on its so-called eastern flank – near Russia's west. Such activity alarms Russia.
Belarus, meanwhile, has seen turmoil since the presidential election in the country on August 9. The opposition disputed the results of the election, which Lukashenko won, and mass protests have since been held in the country.
Western countries have sided with the opposition, and renewed NATO activity was detected near Belarus' borders last month.
Lukashenko appealed for Russian help in case of unrest that would destabilize the country, and Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to help Belarus if the country's security was endangered.
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