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Belarus President okays strategic army exercise concept

MINSK, 21 February (BelTA) – President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has approved the concept for conducting a strategic exercise of the armed forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation. Named as Zapad 2013 (West 2013), the exercise is scheduled to take place in Belarus in autumn 2013, Belarusian Defense Minister Mr Yuri Zhadobin told media.

The Belarusian Defense Minister said that as the commander in chief of the Belarusian Armed Forces the President had approved the concept for holding the joint strategic exercise and had given relevant instructions to add to the concept.

According to the source, Alexander Lukashenko urged to pay closer attention to the practical side, get the territorial defense troops and bodies fully involved in the exercise. Close attention should also be paid to the organization of cooperation between administration agencies and the national security system.

According to Yuri Zhadobin, the forthcoming army exercise will involve not only the regional military force of Belarus and Russia but also the collective rapid response forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. It will be done in Belarus for the first time.