Belarus to form strong volunteer military force

TEHRAN, Feb. 21 (MNA) – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the formation of a new volunteer territorial defence so everyone knows how to "handle weapons" and be ready to respond to an act of aggression.

"The situation is not easy. I have said more than once: every man - and not only a man - should be able to at least handle weapons," Lukashenko said at the meeting of his Security Council, Reuters reported.

"At least in order to protect his family, if needed, his home, his own piece of land and - if necessary - his country."

Lukashenko has said his army would fight only if Belarus was attacked. He has also said the "experience" in Ukraine necessitates additional defence.

"In case of an act of aggression, the response will be fast, harsh and appropriate," Lukashenko said on Monday.

Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin said the territorial defence force will have 100,000-150,000 volunteers or more if needed. The paramilitary formation will be ideal in every village and town.

The country's professional army has about 48,000 troops and some 12,000 state border troops, according to the 2022 International Institute for Strategic Studies' Military Balance.


News Code 197630


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