November 4, 2011
GRODNO OBLAST, 4 November (BelTA) – A new army will be created in Belarus. It will heavily rely on territorial defense troops, said President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko as he presented general shoulder straps to heads of oblast administrations and the city of Minsk on 4 November.
Alexander Lukashenko said: “It should have been done a long time ago. You will be governors general not for the sake of window dressing. HR policy with regard to people that will be put in charge of territorial defense troops will change. We are creating a new army in Belarus if you wish and you will command it”. Alexander Lukashenko said the new army will have 120,000 people.
The President said that along with dealing with economic and social matters the heads of the oblast administrations and the city of Minsk will be in charge of organizing the military component. “Our governors are military people, responsible people therefore military security is part of your life as of today. You will hold territorial defense exercises and should work with the general staff to develop the legal base,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “Specific people should be assigned to every assault rifle, every pistol, every grenade launcher. I am not kidding, these measures are very serious. Not because the situation around us is complicated indeed, but because we are creating a new army,” remarked the President. He added that territorial troops should smoothly interact with the regular army.
“Some people complain it is not the time to hold an exercise, complain about budget costs. As if they bore the burden of budget costs. It is not their business, it is I who have made the decision. Whoever doesn’t learn now will reap the fruit of our inactivity. But no money should be spared for it,” said the head of state. The President remarked that the present exercise is a command post one and does not require a lot of money. “But if we have to, we will spend money. It is my answer to everyone who is complaining about budget costs,” he said.
The head of state also elaborated the previous day’s remark about engaging businessmen in territorial defense. “They have more to lose than anyone else in this country. A place should be found for them,” said the President. In his words, a private individual will always find personal reserves.
“If we ever have to be at war, we are men, we have to protect our homes, families, our land. It is our duty,” said the President.