Russia, Belarus to hold biannual exercises - Medvedev

BARANOVICHI (Brest region), September 29 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia and Belarus will hold biannual operative and tactical exercises of the West 2009 type, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

"Alexander Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] and me agreed to hold biannual exercises, by turn, in Belarus and Russia," he said. "This is the only way to upgrade combat skills and to create quality defense of our nations and the Union State."

The Russian chief of state lauded the West 2009 held for the first time in 25 years. "This is a good start of our joint military events. All of them aim to make the life of our countries more comfortable, better protected and more modern, so that this life meets the demands of our citizens," he said.

"On the other hand, such exercises give the highest level of protection to citizens. This is a sacred duty of the government and the armed forces," Medvedev said.



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