Aug 19, 2020
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The Kremlin does not yet consider it necessary to provide military assistance to Belarus

The Kremlin does not currently see the need for military assistance to the Belarusian authorities. This was stated by the press secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov, who is quoted by TASS.

According to him, the commitments to provide military assistance spelled out in the Collective Security Treaty refer to cases when an outside attack is committed against a member state of the Treaty. “There are indeed obligations there, but now there is no such need. The Belarusian leadership itself is talking about this,” Peskov said.

Answering the question in what situation such a need could arise, the press secretary of the Russian president called hypothetical reasoning on this score "unacceptable and impossible." “We presume that the Belarusians will decide themselves within the framework of the legal framework, without outside interference,” Peskov said. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin also announced the inadmissibility of outside interference, speaking about this with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.

At the same time, Dmitry Peskov noted that attempts at direct intervention from outside were allegedly taking place. "We consider such interference unacceptable," the spokesman said, without specifying from whom such attempts took place. When asked to comment on media reports that convoys of Russian military equipment were supposedly heading to the border of Belarus, Peskov stressed that "Russian military equipment is located throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation, so there is nothing to comment on." He also has no information about the flight to Minsk of the FSB plane, which was also reported by the media.

"I can't tell you anything about the plane, I just don't have information about flights. After all, the air traffic is quite busy between the two countries, so I don't have such information," said the press secretary of the Russian president. This is the first detailed comment of the Kremlin on the events around the alleged interference of third forces in the Belarusian conflict.

When asked why President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has often called Vladimir Putin lately, Peskov replied: "It is completely normal when the heads of two states are in the process of a constant, regular exchange of views against the background of such situations that are now unfolding in Belarus." The Pool N3 telegram channel notes that the day before, Lukashenka called Putin for the fourth time in five days, while the presidents spoke on the phone only three times over the entire past year.

Alexander Lukashenko also called information about Russian military equipment "a lie": "They are taking a column of military equipment - it is not known when, it is not known whose, it is not known which road, but I must say that they are from the Russian border to Orsha. [едут]“According to Lukashenka, quoted by the BelTA agency, those who published materials with“ Russian equipment ”could not distinguish Belarusian armored personnel carriers from Russian ones.

It is reported that military equipment was moving towards the western border: according to Lukashenka's order, it was necessary to transfer an airborne brigade from Vitebsk to Grodno to protect state sovereignty and independence, as well as the state border in the West. Lukashenka's press secretary Natalya Eismont said that the convoy included not only armored vehicles, but also missile systems. “As for foreign troops, today not a single person from other states is in Belarus,” Lukashenka stressed.

On August 15, Lukashenka said that Russia "at the first request" will provide comprehensive assistance to the country in the event of external military threats in accordance with the agreement within the framework of the Union State and the CSTO. According to him, the corresponding agreement was reached personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Lukashenko himself is concerned about the buildup of the armed component in neighboring Poland and Lithuania, where NATO military exercises are being held.

The next day, a video of columns of trucks with bars on the windows was published on the Paris Burns Telegram channel and other media. The description for the video said that they were filmed in the Leningrad region, and the equipment is moving from St. Petersburg to Luga, which is confirmed by geolocation. The shooting location is 400 kilometers from the border with Belarus. Some of these trucks are identical to the transport of the Russian OMON, which is usually present at mass events in St. Petersburg, and the vehicles are completely devoid of markings and license plates.

In the evening of August 18, it became known that a plane of the special flight unit "Russia" Tu-214 PU had landed in Minsk. According to data from open sources, the airliner belongs to the FSB aviation and is used for flights by the director of the special services Alexander Bortnikov. The plane made its return flight after midnight, landing in Moscow at 2:43 am.

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