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    Russia, Belarus to Conduct Combined Military Drills in 2017

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    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia and Belarus summed up the results of implementation of joint military security events plans of 2013-2015 for a military exercise named Zapad (West)-2017.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and Belarus will together conduct a military exercise named Zapad (West)-2017, in two years, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.

    "The experience gained will be taken into consideration when we prepare Zapad-2017 strategic exercises, which we have scheduled in two years on Russian and Belarusian polygons," Shoigu said after a meeting with Belarus colleagues.

    According to the minister, the sides analyzed the results of September’s Union Shield exercises during the meeting.

    "Apart from that, we summed up the results of implementation of joint [military security] events plans of 2013-2015," the minister said.

    Earlier in the day, Belarusian Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov traveled to Moscow for talks on bilateral cooperation.

    Russia and Belarus cooperate in many spheres, including the military.

    Moscow and Minsk signed an agreement on joint protection of the Russia-Belarus Union State airspace and the creation of a unified regional air defense network in February 2009. The units of this network are expected to be carrying out combined combat duty missions by the end of 2016.

    In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko discussed details regarding the establishment of a Russian airbase in Belarus.

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    Tags:
    military drills, Belarusian Defense Ministry, Russian Defense Ministry, Sergei Shoigu, Belarus, Russia
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