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Belarusian and Russian troops training to fight as unified force – Lukashenko

The two countries don’t want war, but are preparing to “repel any aggression,” the Belarusian leader says.Belarusian and Russian troops training to fight as unified force – Lukashenko 

As rt.com said Soldiers from Russia and Belarus are training to fight as a unified force, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said amid heightened tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict. He made his comments during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to Minsk on Saturday.

“Today we are preparing like a single force, a single army,” Lukashenko said, adding that instructors from both countries were training each other’s troops. “Everyone knows this. We did not hide this fact. Well, it is impossible to hide this in a modern world.”

Belarusian and Russian troops training to fight as unified force – Lukashenko

Lukashenko insisted that both Minsk and Moscow “did not want and do not want war,” but are working together to be able to “repel any aggression.”

Defense Minister Shoigu, meanwhile, called Belarus a “trustworthy partner” for Russia during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Viktor Khrenin.

It is especially important today when there is unprecedented pressure from the collective West and an undeclared war against our countries.

Shoigu praised Belarus for “the resolve to resist the hostile course of the US and its allies,” adding that the units from both countries have been improving military interoperability.Belarus announced the deployment of a joint force with Russia on its territory in October, citing tensions with the West.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry said that month that the total number of Russian troops stationed in the country would be around 9,000. Shoigu and Khrenin signed a revised version of a regional security treaty between the two governments on Saturday.

Russia forms ‘shadow fleet’ to bypass oil sanctions – FT

Russia has assembled a “shadow fleet” to circumvent Western oil sanctions, the Financial Times claimed on Saturday. According to the outlet, Moscow has “quietly amassed a fleet of over 100 aging tankers.”

Citing the energy consultancy Rystad, FT reported that Russia has taken control of 103 tankers since the start of the year, either by repurposing ships previously involved in conveying oil cargo to and from Iran or Venezuela or by purchasing tankers outright.

On Friday, the EU and G7 finally agreed to cap the price of seaborne Russian crude at $60 per barrel. The decision came after weeks of arguments between countries which thought the proposed cap was “too generous,” such as Poland and the Baltic states, and some maritime nations, including Greece, which wanted the ceiling to be set at around $70 per barrel.

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