Belarus to hold exercise to test its response to terrorism By Reuters

Dec 7 (Reuters) – Belarus is scheduled to mobilize military equipment and troops on Wednesday and Thursday in what it says are exercises to test its response to possible acts of terrorism, the state-run BelTA news agency reported on Wednesday.

“During this period, the displacement of military equipment and personnel of the national security forces is planned,” the country’s Security Council said, according to the Belarusian news agency.

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

There was no information on which parts of the country might be affected.

Although Belarus has said it will not enter the war in neighboring Ukraine, its president, Alexander Lukashenko, has in the past ordered the deployment of troops alongside Russian soldiers near the Ukrainian border, citing threats to Belarus from kyiv and West.

Belarus and Russia, which together form part of the so-called “State of the Union”, maintain a close economic and military alliance. Russia used Belarus as a staging point for its February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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

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

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; editing in Spanish by Benjamín Mejías Valencia)

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