The statement was made by Dmitry Medvedev at the troop review upon completion of joint military exercises, the second phase of which took place on Belarusian territory. The President of Russia emphasised that the exercises serve to strengthen the two nations’ allied relations, develop the defence component, and build a secure foundation for defending national interests. At the same time, Mr Medvedev highlighted the fact that the exercises were strictly defensive in nature. They were held in accordance with international law and intended to help both nations develop their armed forces.
Mr Medvedev announced that Russia and Belarus will hold strategic exercises analogous to Zapad-2009 every two years. According to the Russian President, these exercises are the only way for servicemen to sharpen their military skills and the only means for the Union State of Russia and Belarus to create a high-quality defence system.