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Belarus is ready to respond to any situation unfolding on the border with Ukraine, Head of the Belarusian Presidential Administration Dmitry Krutoy told reporters on July 1, in response to a question on his assessment of growing tensions on the southern border. “We have a response to every scenario, so we wouldn’t want the Ukrainian side to begin some sort of provocations, which are absolutely unnecessary and test our resilience,” Krutoy said.

At the Kremlin, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Ukrainian moves to pull troops to its border with Belarus “causes concern both for Minsk and Moscow, for we are allies and partners, indeed.”

When asked if Russian President Vladimir Putin could discuss the issue with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Peskov replied that the two leaders may do so if they “deem it necessary.”

Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s Ambassador to Minsk, wrote an op-ed for the Rossiyskaya Gazeta government daily, in which he argued that the trust between Minsk and Moscow runs deep and that this is shown by Russia’s having deployed non-strategic nuclear weapons to Belarus. This deployment “can safely be called the best proof of allied relations and mutual trust in the field of defense and a response to the instigating activities and aggressive rhetoric by NATO and the collective West,” he wrote, reported TASS.

According to Gryzlov, today, no major international project can be implemented without paying attention to defense and security issues. He added that “Moscow and Minsk have for years been boosting cooperation in this field.”

“The Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation have created a regional group of forces and put it into operation, maintaining operational coordination to protect our airspace. We also hold joint military drills on a regular basis,” the envoy pointed out.

In addition, the two countries “speak with one voice on almost all regional and global issues, working together to promote crucial initiatives on international platforms.” “We actively assist each other in expanding multifaceted cooperation with the countries of the global majority and their regional organizations, including BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” Gryzlov noted.