Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Minsk is concerned about NATO-Russia tensions, foreign minister says

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

Belarus is concerned about the lack of a sincere dialogue between NATO and Russia, Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makey told reporters following a meeting with his Polish counterpart, Witold Waszczykowski, in Warsaw on October 10.

"We believe this is one of the biggest problems," the Belarusian foreign ministry's press office quoted him as saying.

Messrs. Makey and Waszczykowski reportedly devoted much attention to security issues in Europe at their meeting. The Belarusian minister told reporters that Minsk was worried by an ongoing "arms race" and "military buildups both in the East and the West." "We would not like these events to lead to new dividing lines, the enhancement of these lines. On the contrary, we would like NATO and Russia to have an open, transparent and sincere dialogue," he said.

Mr. Makey stressed that Belarus did not welcome the deployment of more NATO troops to Poland and the Baltic states but tried to "understand the logic of our Polish and Baltic neighbors." "We don't want to believe that NATO has plans to commit some aggression against Belarus, no, we don't. We hope that these times are gone. And yet we also think about raising the combat readiness of our Armed Forces, about adopting new weapons and so on," he said.

Mr. Makey noted that Minsk did not view the deployment of more NATO troops to Poland and the Baltic states as a direct threat. "But we consider it to be a certain challenge and think about methods of responding properly to these threats," he said.