Belarus begins army combat readiness exercises

(Reuters) - The Belarusian Defence Ministry said on Tuesday it had started exercises to check its armed forces' combat readiness.

"The troops will march as soon as possible to the designated areas, followed by the performance of normative standards on the subjects of combat training," the ministry said. It did not specify when the exercises would end.

The manoeuvres will take place in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions and will involve military hardware and aviation.

Military drills in Belarus, which allowed Russia to use its territory as a staging post for its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, periodically raise security concerns in Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states.

Minsk has denied any hostile plans towards its neighbours, but warned that any incursion against Belarusian territory will invite a response.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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